Effects of environmental pollutants on signaling pathways in rat pituitary GH3 adenoma cells.
INTRODUCTION Human exposure to certain environmental and occupational chemicals is one of the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, including cancer. Therefore, it is desirable to take advantage of subtle exposure-related adverse cellular events for early disease detection and to identify potential dangers caused by new and currently under-evaluated drugs and chemicals. Nongenotoxic events due to carcinogen/toxicant exposure are a general hallmark of sustained cellular stress leading to tumorigenesis. These processes are globally regulated via noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). Tumorigenesis-associated genotoxic and nongenotoxic events lead to the altered expression of ncRNAs and may provide a mechanistic link between chemical exposure and tumorigenesis. Current advances in toxicogenomics are beginning to provide valuable insight into gene-chemical interactions at the transcriptome level. AREAS COVERED In this review, we summarize recent information about the impact of xenobiotics on ncRNAs. Evidence highlighted in this review suggests a critical role of ncRNAs in response to carcinogen/toxicant exposure. EXPERT OPINION Benefits for the use of ncRNAs in carcinogenicity assessment include remarkable tissue specificity, early appearance, low baseline variability, and their presence and stability in biological fluids, which suggests that the incorporation of ncRNAs in the evaluation of cancer risk assessment may enhance substantially the efficiency of toxicity and carcinogenicity testing.