Research Papers:

Coal tar pitch extract could induce chromosomal instability of human bronchial epithelial cells mediated by spindle checkpoint-related proteins

Peng Zhang, Zhitao Li, Na Wang, Guangcai Duan, Wei Wang, Yanming Feng, Yong Zhao, Lixia Wang, Hansong Zhu, Qiao Zhang, Xiaozhuan Liu, Weidong Wu, Yongjun Wu, Wu Yao, Jing Wang, Yiming Wu and Feifei Feng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:56506-56517. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17025

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Peng Zhang1,2,*, Zhitao Li3,*, Na Wang1,*, Guangcai Duan1, Wei Wang1, Yanming Feng3, Yong Zhao1, Lixia Wang1, Hansong Zhu1, Qiao Zhang1, Xiaozhuan Liu3, Weidong Wu4, Yongjun Wu1, Wu Yao1, Jing Wang5, Yiming Wu1 and Feifei Feng1

1College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China

2The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University (Henan Cancer Hospital), Zhengzhou, Henan, China

3Medical College, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, Henan, China

4School of Public Health, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China

5Department of Pulmonary, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Feifei Feng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: chromosomal instability, coal tar pitch extract, R band, multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FLSH), spindle checkpoint

Received: September 22, 2016    Accepted: March 21, 2017    Published: April 11, 2017


Coal tar pitch (CTP) is a byproduct of coal tar distillation. The workers working with coal tar or in aluminum smelters, potrooms and carbon plants have the opportunities of exposing to coal tar pitch volatiles. Coal tar pitches from which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) originate have been shown to exhibit lung carcinogenicity in humans. Chromosomal instability (CIN) is a mechanism in carcinogenesis, however, whether CIN is involved in coal tar pitch-induced lung cancer remains elusive. In this present study, human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) were first exposed to coal tar pitch extracts (CTPE) to induce a malignant transformation model. Then, the occurrence of severe chromosomal changes detected using G band, R band and multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) staining were examined. It was shown that more clones of transformed BEAS-2B cells at passage 30 following stimulation with CTPE were formed in the soft agar compared with the vehicle control. Moreover, the expression of the spindle checkpoint-related proteins, mitotic arrest defective 2 (Mad2), budding uninhibited in benzimidazole 1 (Bub1), and anaphase-promoting complex (APC), indicators of abnormal chromosomes and carcinogenesis, reduced in CTPE-treated BEAS-2B cells at Passage 30 compared with the vehicle control using real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In summary, exposure of BEAS-2B cells to CTPE may induce chromosomal instability through spindle checkpoint-related proteins.

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