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    Ahmad Besaratinia, PhD

    TitleAssociate Professor of Research Preventive Medicine
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentPreventive Medicine
    AddressNRT 1509A 1450 Biggy Street
    Health Sciences Campus
    Los Angeles California 90033
    Phone+1 323 442 0088
    Emailbesarati@med.usc.edu
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      Dr. Besaratinia has a long-standing interest in research on the underlying causes of human cancer. His research focuses on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of carcinogenesis with a special emphasis on DNA damage and repair, mutagenesis, DNA methylation, and histone modifications. Utilizing a combination of classic molecular biology techniques and state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing-based technologies, including in-house developed/refined methodologies, Dr. Besaratinia’s laboratory is characterizing the genetic and epigenetic aberrancies that occur during the initiation and progression of human cancer. Of particular interest is the re-shaping of genome and epigenome in malignancies with modifiable risk factors (e.g., environment, diet, and lifestyle). To elucidate the interplay of genetics, epigenetics, and environment/lifestyle factors in the genesis and progression of human cancer, his group is investigating sunlight ultraviolet (UV) -associated melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and tobacco-related lung- and bladder cancers. These investigations are expected to identify functionally important genetic and epigenetic alterations - dependent on or independently of environment or lifestyle - that can determine cancer development. Increasing the mechanistic knowledge of cancer initiation and progression is critical to developing innovative strategies for prevention, early detection, treatment, and prognosis of this disease.


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      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Tommasi S, Zheng A, Besaratinia A. Expression of epigenetic modifiers is not significantly altered by exposure to secondhand smoke. Lung Cancer. 2015 Dec; 90(3):598-603. PMID: 26525280.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Besaratinia A, Tommasi S. The lingering question of menthol in cigarettes. Cancer Causes Control. 2015 Feb; 26(2):165-9. PMID: 25416451.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Tommasi S, Zheng A, Besaratinia A. Exposure of mice to secondhand smoke elicits both transient and long-lasting transcriptional changes in cancer-related functional networks. Int J Cancer. 2015 May 15; 136(10):2253-63. PMID: 25346222.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Besaratinia A, Tommasi S. Electronic cigarettes: The road ahead. Prev Med. 2014 Sep; 66:65-7. PMID: 24952095.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Besaratinia A, Tommasi S. Epigenetics of human melanoma: promises and challenges. J Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Oct; 6(5):356-67. PMID: 24895357.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Tommasi S, Zheng A, Yoon JI, Besaratinia A. Epigenetic targeting of the Nanog pathway and signaling networks during chemical carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2014 Aug; 35(8):1726-36. PMID: 24480805.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Besaratinia A, Cockburn M, Tommasi S. Alterations of DNA methylome in human bladder cancer. Epigenetics. 2013 Oct 1; 8(10):1013-22. PMID: 23975266.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Besaratinia A, Tommasi S. Genotoxicity of tobacco smoke-derived aromatic amines and bladder cancer: current state of knowledge and future research directions. FASEB J. 2013 Jun; 27(6):2090-100. PMID: 23449930.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Tommasi S, Zheng A, Weninger A, Bates SE, Li XA, Wu X, Hollstein M, Besaratinia A. Mammalian cells acquire epigenetic hallmarks of human cancer during immortalization. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jan 7; 41(1):182-95. PMID: 23143272.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Tommasi S, Zheng A, Yoon JI, Li AX, Wu X, Besaratinia A. Whole DNA methylome profiling in mice exposed to secondhand smoke. Epigenetics. 2012 Nov; 7(11):1302-14. PMID: 23051858.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Besaratinia A, Li H, Yoon JI, Zheng A, Gao H, Tommasi S. A high-throughput next-generation sequencing-based method for detecting the mutational fingerprint of carcinogens. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Aug; 40(15):e116. PMID: 22735701.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Kim SI, Yoon JI, Tommasi S, Besaratinia A. New experimental data linking secondhand smoke exposure to lung cancer in nonsmokers. FASEB J. 2012 May; 26(5):1845-54. PMID: 22318968.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Measuring the formation and repair of UV damage at the DNA sequence level by ligation-mediated PCR. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 920:189-202. PMID: 22941605.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Lereau M, Gouas D, Villar S, Besaratinia A, Hautefeuille A, Berthillon P, Martel-Planche G, Nogueira da Costa A, Ortiz-Cuaran S, Hantz O, Pfeifer GP, Hainaut P, Chemin I. Interactions between hepatitis B virus and aflatoxin B(1): effects on p53 induction in HepaRG cells. J Gen Virol. 2012 Mar; 93(Pt 3):640-50. PMID: 22113009.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Yoon JI, Kim SI, Tommasi S, Besaratinia A. Organ specificity of the bladder carcinogen 4-aminobiphenyl in inducing DNA damage and mutation in mice. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Feb; 5(2):299-308. PMID: 22086680.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Kim SI, Arlt VM, Yoon JI, Cole KJ, Pfeifer GP, Phillips DH, Besaratinia A. Whole body exposure of mice to secondhand smoke induces dose-dependent and persistent promutagenic DNA adducts in the lung. Mutat Res. 2011 Nov 1; 716(1-2):92-8. PMID: 21925188.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. UV wavelength-dependent DNA damage and human non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2012 Jan; 11(1):90-7. PMID: 21804977.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Besaratinia A, Yoon JI, Schroeder C, Bradforth SE, Cockburn M, Pfeifer GP. Wavelength dependence of ultraviolet radiation-induced DNA damage as determined by laser irradiation suggests that cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers are the principal DNA lesions produced by terrestrial sunlight. FASEB J. 2011 Sep; 25(9):3079-91. PMID: 21613571.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Uveal melanoma and GNA11 mutations: a new piece added to the puzzle. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2011 Feb; 24(1):18-20. PMID: 21159145.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Kim SI, Hollstein M, Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. Unveiling the methylation status of CpG dinucleotides in the substituted segment of the human p53 knock-in (Hupki) mouse genome. Mol Carcinog. 2010 Dec; 49(12):999-1006. PMID: 20945503.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Tommasi S, Besaratinia A, Wilczynski SP, Pfeifer GP. Loss of Rassf1a enhances p53-mediated tumor predisposition and accelerates progression to aneuploidy. Oncogene. 2011 Feb 10; 30(6):690-700. PMID: 20890300.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Tommasi S, Kim SI, Zhong X, Wu X, Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. Investigating the epigenetic effects of a prototype smoke-derived carcinogen in human cells. PLoS One. 2010; 5(5):e10594. PMID: 20485678.
        View in: PubMed
      23. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Applications of the human p53 knock-in (Hupki) mouse model for human carcinogen testing. FASEB J. 2010 Aug; 24(8):2612-9. PMID: 20371617.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Hendriks G, Calléja F, Besaratinia A, Vrieling H, Pfeifer GP, Mullenders LH, Jansen JG, de Wind N. Transcription-dependent cytosine deamination is a novel mechanism in ultraviolet light-induced mutagenesis. Curr Biol. 2010 Jan 26; 20(2):170-5. PMID: 20045328.
        View in: PubMed
      25. Besaratinia A, Kim SI, Hainaut P, Pfeifer GP. In vitro recapitulating of TP53 mutagenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma associated with dietary aflatoxin B1 exposure. Gastroenterology. 2009 Sep; 137(3):1127-37, 1137.e1-5. PMID: 19524575.
        View in: PubMed
      26. Besaratinia A. Acrolein: excessive cytotoxicity or potent mutagenicity? Chem Res Toxicol. 2009 May; 22(5):751-3; author reply 753-4. PMID: 19413346.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. Mutational spectra of human cancer. Hum Genet. 2009 Jun; 125(5-6):493-506. PMID: 19308457.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. DNA-lesion mapping in mammalian cells. Methods. 2009 May; 48(1):35-9. PMID: 19245834.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Sunlight ultraviolet irradiation and BRAF V600 mutagenesis in human melanoma. Hum Mutat. 2008 Aug; 29(8):983-91. PMID: 18421705.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Second-hand smoke and human lung cancer. Lancet Oncol. 2008 Jul; 9(7):657-66. PMID: 18598930.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Besaratinia A, Kim SI, Pfeifer GP. Rapid repair of UVA-induced oxidized purines and persistence of UVB-induced dipyrimidine lesions determine the mutagenicity of sunlight in mouse cells. FASEB J. 2008 Jul; 22(7):2379-92. PMID: 18326785.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Kim SI, Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. Lack of mutagenicity of acrolein-induced DNA adducts in mouse and human cells. Cancer Res. 2007 Dec 15; 67(24):11640-7. PMID: 18089793.
        View in: PubMed
      33. Besaratinia A, Kim SI, Bates SE, Pfeifer GP. Riboflavin activated by ultraviolet A1 irradiation induces oxidative DNA damage-mediated mutations inhibited by vitamin C. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 3; 104(14):5953-8. PMID: 17389394.
        View in: PubMed
      34. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. A review of mechanisms of acrylamide carcinogenicity. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Mar; 28(3):519-28. PMID: 17234719.
        View in: PubMed
      35. Kim SI, Pfeifer GP, Besaratinia A. Mutagenicity of ultraviolet A radiation in the lacI transgene in Big Blue mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Mutat Res. 2007 Apr 1; 617(1-2):71-8. PMID: 17275039.
        View in: PubMed
      36. Choi JH, Besaratinia A, Lee DH, Lee CS, Pfeifer GP. The role of DNA polymerase iota in UV mutational spectra. Mutat Res. 2006 Jul 25; 599(1-2):58-65. PMID: 16472831.
        View in: PubMed
      37. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Investigating human cancer etiology by DNA lesion footprinting and mutagenicity analysis. Carcinogenesis. 2006 Aug; 27(8):1526-37. PMID: 16344267.
        View in: PubMed
      38. Besaratinia A, Synold TW, Chen HH, Chang C, Xi B, Riggs AD, Pfeifer GP. DNA lesions induced by UV A1 and B radiation in human cells: comparative analyses in the overall genome and in the p53 tumor suppressor gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jul 19; 102(29):10058-63. PMID: 16009942.
        View in: PubMed
      39. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Investigating DNA adduct-targeted mutagenicity of tamoxifen: preferential formation of tamoxifen-DNA adducts in the human p53 gene in SV40 immortalized hepatocytes but not endometrial carcinoma cells. Biochemistry. 2005 Jun 14; 44(23):8418-27. PMID: 15938631.
        View in: PubMed
      40. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. DNA adduction and mutagenic properties of acrylamide. Mutat Res. 2005 Feb 7; 580(1-2):31-40. PMID: 15668105.
        View in: PubMed
      41. Pfeifer GP, You YH, Besaratinia A. Mutations induced by ultraviolet light. Mutat Res. 2005 Apr 1; 571(1-2):19-31. PMID: 15748635.
        View in: PubMed
      42. Besaratinia A, Bates SE, Synold TW, Pfeifer GP. Similar mutagenicity of photoactivated porphyrins and ultraviolet A radiation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts: involvement of oxidative DNA lesions in mutagenesis. Biochemistry. 2004 Dec 14; 43(49):15557-66. PMID: 15581368.
        View in: PubMed
      43. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Biological consequences of 8-methoxypsoralen-photoinduced lesions: sequence-specificity of mutations and preponderance of T to C and T to a mutations. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Dec; 123(6):1140-6. PMID: 15610526.
        View in: PubMed
      44. Yoon JH, Besaratinia A, Feng Z, Tang MS, Amin S, Luch A, Pfeifer GP. DNA damage, repair, and mutation induction by (+)-Syn and (-)-anti-dibenzo[a,l]pyrene-11,12-diol-13,14-epoxides in mouse cells. Cancer Res. 2004 Oct 15; 64(20):7321-8. PMID: 15492252.
        View in: PubMed
      45. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Genotoxicity of acrylamide and glycidamide. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Jul 7; 96(13):1023-9. PMID: 15240786.
        View in: PubMed
      46. Besaratinia A, Synold TW, Xi B, Pfeifer GP. G-to-T transversions and small tandem base deletions are the hallmark of mutations induced by ultraviolet a radiation in mammalian cells. Biochemistry. 2004 Jun 29; 43(25):8169-77. PMID: 15209513.
        View in: PubMed
      47. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Enhancement of the mutagenicity of benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide by a nonmutagenic dose of ultraviolet A radiation. Cancer Res. 2003 Dec 15; 63(24):8708-16. PMID: 14695185.
        View in: PubMed
      48. Besaratinia A, Pfeifer GP. Weak yet distinct mutagenicity of acrylamide in mammalian cells. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Jun 18; 95(12):889-96. PMID: 12813172.
        View in: PubMed
      49. Besaratinia A, Bates SE, Pfeifer GP. Mutational signature of the proximate bladder carcinogen N-hydroxy-4-acetylaminobiphenyl: inconsistency with the p53 mutational spectrum in bladder cancer. Cancer Res. 2002 Aug 1; 62(15):4331-8. PMID: 12154037.
        View in: PubMed
      50. Besaratinia A, Maas LM, Brouwer EM, Moonen EJ, De Kok TM, Wesseling GJ, Loft S, Kleinjans JC, Van Schooten FJ. A molecular dosimetry approach to assess human exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in pubs. Carcinogenesis. 2002 Jul; 23(7):1171-6. PMID: 12117775.
        View in: PubMed
      51. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Kleinjans JC, Van Schooten FJ. Biomonitoring of tobacco smoke carcinogenicity by dosimetry of DNA adducts and genotyping and phenotyping of biotransformational enzymes: a review on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Biomarkers. 2002 May-Jun; 7(3):209-29. PMID: 12141065.
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      52. Van Schooten FJ, Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, De Flora S, D'Agostini F, Izzotti A, Camoirano A, Balm AJ, Dallinga JW, Bast A, Haenen GR, Van't Veer L, Baas P, Sakai H, Van Zandwijk N. Effects of oral administration of N-acetyl-L-cysteine: a multi-biomarker study in smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Feb; 11(2):167-75. PMID: 11867504.
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      53. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Van Schooten FJ, Schilderman PA, De Kok TM, Haenen GR, Van Herwijnen MH, Van Agen E, Pachen D, Kleinjans JC. A multi-biomarker approach to study the effects of smoking on oxidative DNA damage and repair and antioxidative defense mechanisms. Carcinogenesis. 2001 Mar; 22(3):395-401. PMID: 11238178.
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      54. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Van Straaten HW, Kleinjans JC, Van Schooten FJ. Immunoperoxidase detection of 4-aminobiphenyl- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-DNA adducts in induced sputum of smokers and non-smokers. Mutat Res. 2000 Jul 10; 468(2):125-35. PMID: 10882891.
        View in: PubMed
      55. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Maas LM, Brouwer EM, Kleinjans JC, Van Schooten FJ. Comparison between smoking-related DNA adduct analysis in induced sputum and peripheral blood lymphocytes. Carcinogenesis. 2000 Jul; 21(7):1335-40. PMID: 10874011.
        View in: PubMed
      56. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Maas LM, Van Breda SG, Curfs DM, Kleinjans JC, Wouters EF, Van Schooten FJ. Applicability of induced sputum for molecular dosimetry of exposure to inhalatory carcinogens: 32P-postlabeling of lipophilic DNA adducts in smokers and nonsmokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Apr; 9(4):367-72. PMID: 10794480.
        View in: PubMed
      57. Besaratinia A, Besarati Nia A, Van Straaten HW, Godschalk RW, Van Zandwijk N, Balm AJ, Kleinjans JC, Van Schooten FJ. Immunoperoxidase detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts in mouth floor and buccal mucosa cells of smokers and nonsmokers. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2000; 36(2):127-33. PMID: 11013411.
        View in: PubMed
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