Journal Article

Biotransformation of aflatoxin B<sub>1</sub> in human lung

Patty J. Donnelly, Richard K. Stewart, Sophia L. Ali, A.Alan Conlan, Ken R. Reid, Dimitri Petsikas and Thomas E. Massey

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 11, pages 2487-2494
Published in print November 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Biotransformation of aflatoxin B1 in human

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In addition to being a potent hepatocarcinogen, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a pulmonary carcinogen in experimental animals, and epidemiological studies have shown an association between AFB1 exposure and lung cancer in humans. This study investigated AFB1 bioactivation and detoxification in human lung tissue obtained from patients under-going clinically indicated lobectomy. [3H]AFB1 was bioactivated to a DNA binding metabolite by human whole lung cytosols in a time-, protein concentration-, and AFB1 concentration-dependent manner. Cytosolic activation of [3H]AFB1 correlated with lipoxygenase (LOX) activity and was inhibited by the LOX inhibitor nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA; 100 μM), indicating that LOXs were largely responsible for the observed cytosolic activation of AFB1. In whole lung microsomes, low levels of indomethacin inhibitable prostaglandin H synthase (PHS)-mediated [3H]AFB1-DNA binding and cytochrome P-450 (P450)-mediated [3H]AFB1-DNA binding were observed. Cytosolic glutathione S-transferase (GST)-catalyzed detoxification of AFB1–8,9-epoxide, produced by rabbit liver microsomes, was minimal at 1 and 10 μM [3H]AFB1. With 100 μM [3H]AFB1, [3H]AFB1–8, 9-epoxide conjugation with reduced glutathione was 0.34 ± 0.26 pmol/mg/h (n = 10). In intact, isolated human lung cells, [3H]AFB1 binding to cellular DNA was higher in cell fractions enriched in macrophages than in either type II cell-enriched fractions or fractions containing unseparated cell types. Indomethacin produced a 63–100% decrease in [3H]AFB1-DNA binding in macrophages from five of seven patients, while NDGA inhibited [3H]AFB1 -DNA adduct formation by 19, 40 and 56% in macrophages from three of seven patients. In alveolar type O cells, NDGA decreased [3H]AFB1-DNA binding by 30–100% in cells from three patients and indomethacin had little effect. SKF525A, an isozyme non-selective P450 inhibitor, enhanced [3H]AFB1 binding to cellular DNA in unseparated cells, macrophages, and type II cells, suggesting that P450-mediated bioactivation of AFB1 is not a major pathway by which AFB1–8,9-epoxide is formed in human lung cells. Overall, these studies suggest that P450 has a minor role in the bioactivation of AFB1 in human lung. Rather, LOXs and PHS appear to be important bioactivation enzymes. Co-oxidative bioactivation of AFB1, in combination with the low conjugating activity displayed by human lung cytosolic GSTs, likely contributes to human pulmonary susceptibility to AFB1.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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