Cadmium (Cd) and its compounds are well-known human carcinogens, but the mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis are not well understood. This study aimed to investigate whether long noncoding RNA (LncRNA)-ENST00000446135 could serve as a novel biomarker of Cd toxicity in cells, animals, and Cd-exposed workers and regulate DNA damage and repair. LncRNA-ENST00000446135 expression increased gradually in cadmium chloride-transformed 16HBE cells. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of LncRNA-ENST00000446135 inhibited the growth of DNA-damaged cells and decreased the expressions of DNA damage-related genes (ATM, ATR, and ATRIP), whereas increased the expressions of DNA repair-related genes (DDB1, DDB2, OGG1, ERCC1, MSH2, XRCC1, and BARD1). Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing showed that MSH2 is a direct transcriptional target of lncRNA-ENST00000446135. Cadmium increased lncRNA-ENST00000446135 expression in the lung of Cd-exposed rats in a dose-dependent manner. A significant positive correlation was observed between blood ENST00000446135 expression and urinary/blood Cd concentrations, and there were significant correlations of LncRNA-ENST00000446135 expression with the DNA damage cell and the expressions of target genes in the lung of Cd-exposed rats and the blood of Cd-exposed workers and significantly correlated with liver and renal function in Cd-exposed workers. These results indicate that the expression of LncRNA-ENST00000446135 is upregulated and may serve as a signature for DNA damage and repair related to the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the cadmium toxicity and become a novel biomarker of cadmium toxicity.
- DNA damage