Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a Fusarium mycotoxin frequently occurring in maize-based food and feed. Although the effects of FBI on sphingolipid metabolism are clear, little is known about early molecular changes associated with FB1 carcinogenicity. It has been shown that FB1 disrupts DNA methylation and chromatin modifications in HepG2 cells. We investigated dose- and time-dependent effects of FBI in global histone modifications such as histone H3 lysine 9 di-, trimethylation (H3K9me2/me3), histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3), histone H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3), histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) and the enzymes involved in these mechanisms in rat kidney epithelial cells (NRK-52E). The increased levels of global H3K9me2/me3 were observed in FBI treated cells, while the global levels of H4K20me3 and H3K9ac were decreased. FBI caused some changes on the activities of H3K9 histone methyltransferase (HMT) and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) at high concentrations in NRK-52E cells. Further, the effects of trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, were investigated in NRK-52E cells. TSA was found to cause an increase on H3K9ac levels as expected. In this study we suggest that FBI may disrupt epigenetic events by altering global histone modifications, introducing a novel aspect on the potential mechanism of FBI carcinogenesis. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.