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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2000 Jan 1;8(2):119-126.

Using the metabolism of PAHs in a human cell line to characterize environmental samples.

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Columbia Analytical Services, 1185 Park Center Drive, Suite A, 92083, Vista, CA, USA


P450 reporter gene system (RGS) is an in vitro assay to detect compounds that activate the Ah receptor and induce cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1). This system utilizes a human cell (101L) stably transfected with a luciferase reporter downstream of human CYP1A1 promoter sequences. When CYP1A1-inducing compounds are present, luciferase is produced as well as endogenous CYP1A1 enzymes. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are more readily degraded than chlorinated compounds including dioxins, furans, and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PAH-induced luciferase production begins to decrease between 6 and 16 h, while chlorinated compounds produce a more sustained response. Individual and mixtures of CYP1A1-inducing compounds were tested at both 6 and 16 h. Extracts of soils containing both PAHs and dioxins were also tested, before and after cleanup to remove PAHs. Results indicate that RGS testing at 6 and 16 h is a promising tool to differentiate between PAHs and chlorinated hydrocarbons often co-occurring in environmental samples.

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