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Role of H3K18ac-regulated nucleotide excision repair-related genes in arsenic-induced DNA damage and repair of HaCaT cells

Arsenic is an environmental poison and is a grade I human carcinogen that can cause many types of damage to the body. The skin is one of the main target organs of arsenic damage, but the molecular mechanisms underlying arsenic poisoning are not clear. Arsenic is an epigenetic agent. Histone acetylation is one of the earliest covalent modifications to be discovered and is closely related to the occurrence and development of tumors. To investigate the role of acetylated histone H3K18 (H3K18 ac) in arsenic-induced DNA damage, HaCaT cells were exposed to sodium arsenite (NaAsO2) for 24 h. It was found that arsenic induced the downregulation of xeroderma pigmentosum A, D, and F (XPAXPD, and XPF-nucleotide excision repair (NER)-related genes) expression, as well as histone H3K18 ac expression, and aggravated DNA damage. Chromatin immunoprecipitation quantitative polymerase chain reaction (ChIP-qPCR) analysis showed that H3K18 acetylation in the promoter regions of XPA, XPD, and XPF was downregulated. In addition, the use of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) partially inhibited arsenic-induced DNA damage, inhibited deacetylation of H3K18 ac in the promoter regions of XPAXPD, and XPF genes, increased acetylation of H3K18, and promoted the transcriptional expression of NER-related genes. Our study revealed that NaAsO2 induces DNA damage and inhibits the expression of NER-related genes, while TSA increases the H3K18 ac enrichment level and promotes the transcriptional expression of NER, thereby inhibiting DNA damage. These findings provide new ideas for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying arsenic-induced skin damage.

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