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Chem Res Toxicol. 2000 May;13(5):363-72.

Electrophilic properties of patulin. Adduct structures and reaction pathways with 4-bromothiophenol and other model nucleophiles.

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Institute of Food Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe, P.O. Box 6980, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.


The mycotoxin patulin (PAT) is believed to exert its cytotoxic and chromosome-damaging effects by forming covalent adducts with essential cellular thiols. Since the chemical structures of such adducts are unknown to date, we have studied the reaction of PAT and its O-acetylated derivative with the monofunctional thiol model compound 4-bromothiophenol (BTP), which was chosen due to analytical advantages. By means of analytical and preparative high-performance liquid chromatography, 16 adducts of PAT and 3 adducts of acetyl-PAT were isolated and their chemical structures elucidated by (1)H and (13)C NMR, IR, and UV spectroscopy. Time course studies and analysis of daughter product formation from isolated intermediate adducts led to a detailed scheme for the reaction of PAT with BTP. The structures of adducts of PAT formed with other model nucleophiles, e. g., the aliphatic thiol 2-mercaptoethanol and the aromatic amine 4-bromoaniline, were also elucidated and found to corroborate the reaction scheme. In addition, one further reaction pathway was observed with 2-mercaptoethanol, which appears to be independent from those found for BTP. Our study with model nucleophiles provides insights into the electrophilic reactivity of PAT and proved to be useful for the structure elucidation of PAT adducts with biological nucleophiles of toxicological relevance, as will be reported by Fliege and Metzler [(2000) Chem. Res. Toxicol. 13, 373-381].

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