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Toxicol Sci. 2000 Jun;55(2):284-92.

Metabolism of 3-methylindole by porcine liver microsomes: responsible cytochrome P450 enzymes.

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Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


The role of different cytochrome P450 enzymes on the metabolism of 3-methylindole (3MI) was investigated using selective chemical inhibitors. Eight chemical inhibitors of P450 enzymes were screened for their inhibitory specificity towards 3MI metabolism in porcine microsomes: alpha-naphthoflavone (CYP1A1/2), 8-methoxypsoralen (CYP2A6), menthofuran (CYP2A6), diethyldithiocarbamate (CYP2A6), 4-methylpyrazole (CYP2E1), sulphaphenazole (CYP2C9), quinidine (CYP2D6), and troleandomycin (CYP3A4). The production of 3MI metabolites was only affected by the presence of inhibitors of CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 in the microsomal incubations. In a second experiment, a set of porcine microsomes (n = 30) was analyzed for CYP2A6 content by protein immunoblot analysis and for their coumarin 7-hydroxylation activity (CYP2A6 activity). Both CYP2A6 content and enzymatic activity were found to be highly and negatively correlated with 3MI fat content. The results of the present study indicate that the CYP2A6 porcine ortholog plays an important role in the metabolism of 3MI and that measurement of CYP2A6 levels and/or activity could be a useful marker for 3MI-induced boar taint.

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