Significant interactions between maternal PAH exposure and single nucleotide polymorphisms in candidate genes on B[a]P–DNA adducts in a cohort of non-smoking Polish mothers and newborns

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are a class of chemicals common in the environment. Certain PAH are carcinogenic, although the degree to which genetic variation influences susceptibility to carcinogenic PAH remains unclear. Also unknown is the influence of genetic variation on the procarcinogenic effect of in utero exposures to PAH. Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is a well-studied PAH that is classified as a known human carcinogen. Within our Polish cohort, we explored interactions between maternal exposure to airborne PAH during pregnancy and maternal and newborn single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in plausible B[a]P metabolism genes on B[a]P–DNA adducts in paired cord blood samples. The study subjects included non-smoking women (n = 368) with available data on maternal PAH exposure, paired cord adducts, and genetic data who resided in Krakow, Poland. We selected eight common variants in maternal and newborn candidate genes related to B[a]P metabolism, detoxification, and repair for our analyses: CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, GSTM1, GSTT2, NQO1, and XRCC1. We observed significant interactions between maternal PAH exposure and SNPs on cord B[a]P–DNA adducts in the following genes: maternal CYP1A1 and GSTT2, and newborn CYP1A1 and CYP1B1. These novel findings highlight differences in maternal and newborn genetic contributions to B[a]P–DNA adduct formation and have the potential to identify at-risk subpopulations who are susceptible to the carcinogenic potential of B[a]P.

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