An Examination of the Organochloride, DDE, and Its Relation to Lung Cancer in Women

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Abstract Summary

Organochlorides, a component of pesticides, are suspected of contributing to cancer risk due to their effect on DNA methylation. Our previous study showed that among individuals with greater than 100ng/mL of organochloride DDE in their blood, the genes TERT, HCK, and DIO3 displayed differential methylation. The goal of this study was to determine if differential methylation of these genes is also a hallmark of lung cancer in women. To answer this question data from the Cancer Genome Atlas was used. R Studio was used to perform paired t-tests and determine if the amount of DNA methylation differed not only for the aforementioned genes of interest but for 27,000 SNPs from patient-matched normal and lung tumor tissue (N=19). We tested whether these differences were correlated with changes in RNA and protein expression. Results from our analysis showed that there was a statistically significant difference in the methylation of SNPS within the genes TERT (cg0254519 p-value = 1.53 ×10-3 and cg17166338 p-value 5.92 × 10-8), HCK (cg03414321 p-value = 0.034 and cg08623947 p-value = 0.014) and DIO3 (cg04623955 p-value = 7.85 × 10-5). This project will enable us to better understand the biological roles and functions of DDE in the promotion of lung cancer in women.

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