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Mutagenicity of acrylamide and glycidamide in human TP53 knock-in (Hupki) mouse embryo fibroblasts

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Lisa Holzl-Armstrong, Jill Kucab, Sarah Moody, Edwin Zwart, Lucie Loutkovotova, Veronica Duffy, Mirjiam Luijten, Goncalo Gamboa da Costa, Michael Stratton, David Phillips, Volker Arlt

Original languageEnglish
Article number2878
Number of pages24
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Accepted/In press12 Aug 2020

King's Authors


Acrylamide is a suspected human carcinogen formed during high-temperature cooking of starch-rich foods. It is metabolised by cytochrome P450 2E1 to its reactive metabolite glycidamide, which forms pre-mutagenic DNA adducts. Using the human TP53 knock-in (Hupki) mouse embryo ibroblasts (HUFs) immortalisation assay (HIMA), acrylamide- and glycidamideinduced mutagenesis was studied in the tumour suppressor gene TP53. Selected immortalised HUF clones were also subjected to next-generation sequencing to determine mutations across the whole genome. The TP53-mutant frequency after glycidamide exposure (1.1 mM for 24 h, n = 198) was 9% compared with 0% in cultures treated with acrylamide [1.5 (n = 24) or 3 mM (n = 6) for 48 h] and untreated vehicle (water) controls (n = 36). Most glycidamide-induced mutations occurred at adenines with A > T/T > A and A > G/T > C mutations being the most common types. Mutations induced by glycidamide occurred at speciic TP53 codons that have also been found to be mutated in human tumours (i.e., breast, ovary, colorectal, and lung) previously associated with acrylamide exposure. The spectrum of TP53 mutations was further relected by the mutations detected by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and a distinct WGS mutational signature was found in HUF clones treated with glycidamide that was again characterised by A > G/T > C and A > T/T > A mutations. The WGS mutational signature showed similarities with COSMIC mutational signatures 3 and 25 previously found in human tumours (e.g., breast and ovary), while the adenine component was similar to COSMIC SBS4 found mostly in smokers’ lung cancer. In contrast, in acrylamide-treated HUF clones, only culture-related background WGS mutational signatures were observed. In summary, the results of the present study suggest that glycidamide may be involved in the development of breast, ovarian, and lung cancer.

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