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Feasibility of using urinary N7-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl) Guanine as a biomarker for acrylamide exposed workers

Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (2018) | Download Citation



Acrylamide (AA), a probable human carcinogen, is a widely-used industrial chemical but is also present in tobacco smoke and carbohydrate-rich foods processed at high temperatures. AA is metabolized to glycidamide (GA) to cause the formation of DNA adducts. N7-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl) guanine (N7-GAG), the most abundant DNA adduct induced by GA, was recently detected in urine of smokers and non-smokers. In this study, we assessed the variability of AA exposure and biomarkers of AA exposure in urine samples repeatedly collected from AA-exposed workers and explored the half-life of N7-GAG. A total of 8 AA-exposed workers and 36 non-exposed workers were recruited. Pre-shift and post-shift urine samples were collected from the exposed group in parallel with personal sampling for eight consecutive days and from the control group on day 1 of the study. Urinary N7-GAG and the mercapturic acids of AA and GA, namely N-acetyl-S-(2-carbamoylethyl)-L-cysteine (AAMA) and N-(R,S)-acetyl-S-(1-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl)-l-cysteine (GAMA) were analyzed using on-line solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry methods. We found that N7-GAG levels in urine were significantly higher in exposed workers than in controls and that N7-GAG level correlated positively with AAMA and GAMA levels. Results from this study showed that AAMA and GAMA possibly remain the more preferred biomarkers of AA exposure and that N7-GAG levels could be elevated by occupational exposures to AA and serve as a biomarker of AA-induced genotoxicity for epidemiological studies.

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This research was finically supported by a grant from the National Health Research Institute (EO-095-PP-02), a grant from the National Science Council of the Republic of China, Taiwan (MOST 95–2314-B-400-004-MY3), and a grant from Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH95-A319), Taiwan. We acknowledge the cooperation of the staff in the IOSH and our study participant.

Author information


  1. Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National United University, Miaoli, Taiwan

    • Yu-Fang Huang
  2. Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

    • Yu-Fang Huang
    •  & Chensheng Alex Lu
  3. Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

    • Yu-Fang Huang
    •  & Mei-Lien Chen
  4. Department of Food Science, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu, Pingtung, Taiwan

    • Chih-Chun Jean Huang
  5. Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan

    • Saou-Hsing Liou
  6. School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

    • Su-Yin Chiang
  7. Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan

    • Kuen-Yuh Wu


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Kuen-Yuh Wu.

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