Profound changes in miRNA expression during cancer initiation by aflatoxin B1 and their abrogation by the chemopreventive triterpenoid CDDO-Im. Academic Article uri icon


  • Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1 ) is a potent human and animal hepatocarcinogen. To investigate the effects of aflatoxin on miRNA expression during the initiation phase of carcinogenesis, next-generation sequencing was used to analyze liver tissues from F344 rats exposed to 200g/kg per day AFB1 for 4week. A panel of miRNAs was identified that was upregulated with AFB1 treatment compared to controls: rno-miR-434-3p, rno-miR-411-5p, rno-miR-221-3p, rno-miR-127-3p, rno-miR-205, rno-miR-429, rno-miR-34a-5p, rno-miR-181c-3p, rno-miR-200b-3p, and rno-miR-541-5p. Analysis of rat livers exposed to AFB1 plus the chemopreventive triterpenoid CDDO-Im revealed a striking abrogation of this upregulation. These changes were validated by real-time PCR. We also explored the temporal variation in expression of the candidate miRNAs during the 4-week dosing period. Most of the candidate miRNAs were upregulated at week 1 and increased for the duration of AFB1 dosing over the 4-week period. Treatment with CDDO-Im ameliorated these effects at all time points. All candidate miRNAs were detectable in serum from aflatoxin treated animals; however, there was no significant difference in expression for 7 of the 11 miRNAs examined. Exposure to AFB1 upregulated miR-122-5p (fivefold), 34a-5p (13-fold), and 181c-3p (170-fold) compared with controls. The findings from this study give insight into epigenetic changes induced by aflatoxin taking place during the initial step of carcinogenesis.

published proceedings

  • Mol Carcinog

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Livingstone, M. C., Johnson, N. M., Roebuck, B. D., Kensler, T. W., & Groopman, J. D.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Livingstone, Merricka C||Johnson, Natalie M||Roebuck, Bill D||Kensler, Thomas W||Groopman, John D

publication date

  • November 2017