J Cancer Prev.  2021 Sep;26(3):153-161. 10.15430/JCP.2021.26.3.153.

Genomic Approach to the Assessment of Adverse Effects of Particulate Matters on Skin Cancer and Other Disorders and Underlying Molecular Mechanisms

  • 1Department of Life Science, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Dongguk University Biomedi Campus, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Bioscience Lab., R&D Unit, AmorePacific Corporation, Yongin, Korea


Air pollutants are in the spotlight because the human body can easily be exposed to them. Among air pollutants, the particulate matter (PM) represents one of the most serious toxicants that can enter the human body through various exposure routes. PMs have various adverse effects and classified as severe carcinogen by International Agency for Research on Cancer. Their physical and chemical characteristics are distinguished by their size. In this review, we summarized the published information on the physicochemical characteristics and adverse effects of PMs on the skin, including carcinogenicity. Through comparisons of biological networks constructed from relationships discussed in the previous scientific publications, we show it is possible to predict skin cancers and other disorders from particle-size-specific signaling alterations of PM-responsive genes. Our review not only helps to grasp the biological association between ambient PMs and skin diseases including cancer, but also provides new approaches to interpret chemical-gene-disease associations regarding the adverse effects of these heterogeneous particles.


Air pollutants; Particulate matter; Skin diseases; Carcinogens; Toxicogenetics
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