Journal Article

Benzylic hydroxylation of 1-methylpyrene and 1-ethylpyrene by human and rat cytochromes P450 individually expressed in V79 Chinese hamster cells

Wolfram Engst, Robert Landsiedel, Heino Hermersdörfer, Johannes Doehmer and Hansruedi Glatt

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 9, pages 1777-1785
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Benzylic hydroxylation of 1-methylpyrene and 1-ethylpyrene by human and rat cytochromes P450 individually expressed in V79 Chinese hamster cells

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Alkyl-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may be metabolized to highly reactive benzylic sulfuric acid esters via benzylic hydroxylation and subsequent sulfonation. We have studied the benzylic hydroxylation of 1-methylpyrene (MP), a hepatocarcinogen in rodents, and 1-ethylpyrene (EP), whose benzylic hydroxylation would produce a secondary alcohol (α-HEP), in contrast to the primary alcohol (α-HMP) formed from MP. The hydrocarbons were incubated with hepatic microsomal preparations from humans and rats, as well as with V79-derived cell lines engineered for the expression of individual cytochrome P450 (CYP) forms from human (1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, 2E1, 3A4) and rat (1A1, 1A2, 2B1). All microsomal systems and CYP-expressing cell lines used, but not CYP-deficient V79 cells, showed biotransformation of both hydrocarbons. Formation of the benzylic alcohol was detected in each case. α-HMP and its oxidation product, 1-pyrenylcarboxylic acid (COOH-P), accounted for a major part of the total amount of the metabolites formed from MP in the presence of human liver microsomes (38–64%) and cells expressing human 3A4, 2E1 or 1B1 (80–85%). Likewise, cells expressing human 1A1 showed a higher contribution of α-HMP and COOH-P to the total metabolites (45%) than cells expressing the orthologous enzyme of the rat (3%). EP was metabolized at a higher rate and with modified regioselectivity compared with MP, although ω-hydroxylation of the side chain was not detected with the cell lines and only accounted for a small percent of the biotransformation by the microsomal preparations. The highest contributions of α-HEP to the total metabolites from EP were detected with the cells expressing human 1A1, 1B1 and 3A4 (38–51%). α-HEP accounted for 16% of the metabolites formed in the presence of human hepatic microsomes. Thus, benzylic hydroxylation is a major initial step in the metabolism of MP and EP. This pathway appears to be even more important in humans than in rats. Previously, we had shown that the second step of the activation, the sulfonation of α-HMP and α-HEP, is also efficiently catalysed by various forms of human sulfotransferases.

Keywords: α-HEP, 1-(1-pyrenyl)ethanol; α-HMP, 1-hydroxymethylpyrene; B[a]P, benzo[a]pyrene; COOH-P, 1-pyrenylcarboxylic acid; CYP, cytochrome P450; EP, 1-ethylpyrene; MC, 3-methylcholanthrene; MP, 1-methylpyrene; PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; ω-HEP, 2-(1-pyrenyl)ethanol.

Journal Article.  7737 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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