Journal Article

Expression of Human Microsomal Epoxide Hydrolase in <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i> Reveals a Functional Role in Aflatoxin B<sub>1</sub> Detoxification

Edward J. Kelly, Kristin E. Erickson, Christian Sengstag and David L. Eaton

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 65, issue 1, pages 35-42
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Expression of Human Microsomal Epoxide Hydrolase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reveals a Functional Role in Aflatoxin B1 Detoxification

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The metabolism and genotoxicity of the carcinogenic mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1 (AFB), was studied in the lower eukaryotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recombinant strains of yeast were engineered to express human cDNAs for CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH). Coexpression of mEH with CYP1A1 or CYP1A2 resulted in significant decreases in measurements of AFB genotoxicity. In cells expressing CYP1A2 and mEH, the level of AFB-DNA adducts was decreased by 50% relative to cells expressing CYP1A2 alone. Mitotic recombination, as assayed by gene conversion at thetrp5locus, was diminished by 50% or greater in cells coexpressing mEH and CYP1A2 compared to CYP1A2 alone. The mutagenicity of AFB in the Ames assay was also decreased by approximately 50% when AFB was incubated with microsomes containing CYP1A1 or CYP1A2 and mEH versus CYP1A1 or CYP1A2 alone. The biotransformation of AFB by CYPs is known to involve the generation of a reactive epoxide intermediate, AFB-8,9-epoxide, but previous direct biochemical and kinetic studies have failed to demonstrate any functional role for mEH in AFB detoxification. By reconstructing a metabolic pathway in intact yeast, we have shown, for the first time, that mEH may play a role in mitigating the carcinogenic effects of AFB.

Keywords: aflatoxin B1; microsomal epoxide hydrolase; cytochrome P450; genotoxicity; Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Journal Article.  5977 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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