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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Jan 3;300(1):107-14.

DNA adduct formation by the ubiquitous environmental pollutant 3-nitrobenzanthrone and its metabolites in rats.

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Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Institute of Cancer Research, Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NG, UK.


Diesel exhaust is known to induce tumours in animals and is suspected of being carcinogenic in humans. Of the compounds found in diesel exhaust, 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA) is an extremely potent mutagen and suspected human carcinogen forming multiple DNA adducts in vitro. 3-Aminobenzanthrone (3-ABA), 3-acetylaminobenzanthrone (3-Ac-ABA), and N-acetyl-N-hydroxy-3-aminobenzanthrone (N-Ac-N-OH-ABA) were identified as 3-NBA metabolites. In order to gain insight into the pathways of metabolic activation leading to 3-NBA-derived DNA adducts we treated Wistar rats intraperitoneally with 2mg/kg body weight of 3-NBA, 3-ABA, 3-Ac-ABA, or N-Ac-N-OH-ABA and compared DNA adducts present in different organs. With each compound either four or five DNA adduct spots were detected by TLC in all tissues examined (lung, liver, kidney, heart, pancreas, and colon) using the nuclease P1 or butanol enrichment version of the 32P-postlabelling method, respectively. Using HPLC co-chromatographic analysis we showed that all major 3-NBA-DNA adducts produced in vivo in rats are derived from reductive metabolites bound to purine bases and lack an N-acetyl group. Our results indicate that 3-NBA metabolites (3-ABA, 3-Ac-ABA and N-Ac-N-OH-ABA) undergo several biotransformations and that N-hydroxy-3-aminobenzanthrone (N-OH-ABA) appears to be the common intermediate in 3-NBA-derived DNA adduct formation. Therefore, 3-NBA-DNA adducts are useful biomarkers for exposure to 3-NBA and its metabolites and may help to identify enzymes involved in their metabolic activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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