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Ohio State University

Epigenetic Regulation of PTPG by Zeraonl in Beef Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Young C. Lin, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Project Description:

Zeranol (Z) is a non-steroidal agent with estrogenic activity (E2) that is used as an anabolic growth promoter in the U.S. beef industries. Consumption of bio-active Z containing-beef has a potential risk in human normal and cancerous breast cells. Previous work suggests that PTP gamma (PTP) is an E2-regulated breast cancer suppressor gene. Z is capable of down-regulating PTP both in mRNA and protein levels in normal human and cancerous breast tissues and cells. The overall hypothesis to be evaluated is that consumption of beef products, derived from Z-implanted beef cattle may be of potential health impact on human consumers, particularly with respect to reproductive endocrinology and hormone-sensitive breast tissues.

The Specific Aims are to:

  1. Define epigenetic and gene expression alterations in primary cultured normal human breast epithelial cells, stromal cells, and tissues exposed to serum and meat extracts collected from Z-implanted beef heifers
  2. Define DNA methylation changes in the estrogen inducible mammary tumor ACI rat model exposed to bio-active Z-containing diets formulated from Z-implanted beef heifers
  3. Investigate mammary tumorigenesis in the estrogen inducible mammary tumor ACI rat model after long-term consumption of low level of bio-active Z containing experimental diets formulated from meat collected from Z-implanted beef heifers

The team of researchers assembles expertise in three areas to systematically study the mitogenic effects of Z in reproductive and hormone sensitive breast. These include modeling of in vitro and in vivo effects of Z (Lin), mapping and quantification of global and unique epigenetic alterations in gene promoters (Huang & Yan), and comparative quantification of global gene expression and identification of biomarkers (Wick). The proposed experiments will provide a clear linkage between bio-active dietary Z and PTP down-regulation to eventual tumorigenesis via epigenetic regulation of PTP expression and other tumor relevant genes. To translate findings from bench to beside, selected biomarkers uncovered from the in vitro experiments will be further validated by proteomic analysis. It is the intent to provide comprehensive data (exposure levels during Z-implantation and after Z withdrawal from the beef heifers) to raise awareness of environmental exposure to the estrogen mimic, beef growth promoter, Z.

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