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Ind Health. 2005 Oct;43(4):699-701.

4-oxo-2-hexenal, a mutagen formed by omega-3 fat peroxidation, causes DNA adduct formation in mouse organs.

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Department of Environmental Oncology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan.

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  • Ind Health. 2008 Jan;46(1):101.


To identify mutagens formed in a model reaction of lipid peroxidation, linolenic acid methyl ester and hemin were reacted with dG. As a result, a 4-oxo-2-hexenal-dG adduct (dG*) was identified in the model reaction mixture. The 4-oxo-2-hexenal (4-OHE) showed mutagenic activity in the Salmonella typhimurium strains TA100 and TA104. After 4-OHE was orally administered to mice, dG, 4-OHE-dC- and 4-OHE-5-methyl-dC adducts were detected in esophageal, stomach and intestinal DNA. In the vapor phase released from the methyl linolenate-hemin model system, and in the smoke released during the broiling of fish, 4-OHE was detected by GCMS. The 4-OHE seems to be produced by the auto-oxidation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These results provide a warning to workers dealing with omega-3 fats, who may be exposed to this volatile mutagen.

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