Publications by authors named "J K Fetke"

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DNA methylation and expression of estrogen receptor alpha in fathead minnows exposed to 17α-ethynylestradiol.

Aquat Toxicol 2021 Apr 23;233:105788. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, OH, 45268, United States. Electronic address:

The gene expression response thought to underlie the negative apical effects resulting from estrogen exposure have been thoroughly described in fish. Although epigenetics are believed to play a critical role translating environmental exposures into the development of adverse apical effects, they remain poorly characterized in fish species. This study investigated alterations of DNA methylation of estrogen receptor alpha (esr1) in brain and liver tissues from 8 to 10 month old male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) after a 2d exposure to either 2.5 ng/L or 10 ng/L 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2). Changes in the patterns of methylation were evaluated using targeted deep sequencing of bisulfite treated DNA in the 5' region of esr1. Methylation and gene expression were assessed at 2d of exposure and after a 7 and 14d depuration period. After 2d EE2 exposure, males exhibited significant demethylation in the 5' upstream region of esr1 in liver tissue, which was inversely correlated to gene expression. This methylation pattern reflected what was seen in females. No gene body methylation (GBM) was observed for liver of exposed males. Differential methylation was observed for a single upstream CpG site in the liver after the 14d depuration. A less pronounced methylation response was observed in the upstream region in brain tissue, however, several CpGs were necessarily excluded from the analysis. In contrast to the liver, a significant GBM response was observed across the entire gene body, which was sustained until at least 7d post-exposure. No differential expression was observed in the brain, limiting functional interpretation of methylation changes. The identification of EE2-dependent changes in methylation levels strongly suggests the importance of epigenetic mechanisms as a mediator of the organismal response to environmental exposures and the need for further characterization of the epigenome. Further, differential methylation following depuration indicates estrogenic effects persist well after the active exposure, which has implications for the risk posed by repeated exposures..
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April 2021