DNA methylation changes induced by BDE-209 are related to DNA damage response and germ cell development in GC-2spd

Zhiwei Sun , Xiangyang Li , Yue Zhang , Xiaomin Dong , Guiqing Zhou , Yujian Sang , Leqiang Gao , Xianqing Zhou


Received November 02, 2020,Revised , Accepted April 01, 2021, Available online April 24, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 161-170

Decabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-209) is generally utilized in multiple polymer materials as common brominated flame retardant. BDE-209 has been listed as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which was considered to be reproductive toxin in the environment. But it still remains unclear about the effects of BDE-209 on DNA methylation and the induced-male reproductive toxicity. Due to the extensive epigenetic regulation in germ line development, we hypothesize that BDE-209 exposure impacts the statue of DNA methylation in spermatocytes in vitro. Therefore, the mouse GC-2spd (GC-2) cells were used for the genome wide DNA methylation analysis after treated with 32 μg/mL BDE-209 for 24 hr. The results showed that BDE-209 caused genomic methylation changes with 32,083 differentially methylated CpGs in GC-2 cells, including 16,164 (50.38%) hypermethylated and 15,919 (49.62%) hypomethylated sites. With integrated analysis of DNA methylation data and functional enrichment, we found that BDE-209 might affect the functional transcription in cell growth and sperm development by differential gene methylation. qRT-PCR validation demonstrated the involvement of p53-dependent DNA damage response in the GC-2 cells after BDE-209 exposure. In general, our findings indicated that BDE-209-induced genome wide methylation changes could be interrelated with reproductive dysfunction. This study might provide new insights into the mechanisms of male reproductive toxicity under the environmental exposure to BDE-209.

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