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Toxicology. 2007 Apr 11;232(3):277-85. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Mass spectrometric analysis of 4-hydroxy-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone-releasing DNA adducts in human lung.

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Walther Straub Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Goethestrasse 33, D-80336 Munich, Germany.


An improved analytical method was developed for the analysis of 4-hydroxy-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (HPB)-releasing DNA adducts in lung samples of patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer. HPB-releasing adducts can be formed by metabolic activation of the tobacco-specific nitrosamines 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone and N'-nitrosonornicotine, and have been reported to play an important role in tobacco carcinogenesis. [2,2,3,3-D(4)]HPB (D(4)-HPB) was used as an internal standard, and HPB released by acid hydrolysis of DNA was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in the negative ion chemical ionisation mode. The method is sensitive with a limit of detection of 5.9 fmol HPB and a limit of quantification of 15.2 fmol HBP/mg DNA. The recovery of HPB was 82+/-17% and the background response was 10.1+/-1.8 fmol HPB/sample. The concentration of HPB-releasing lung DNA adducts was significantly higher (p<0.0001) in 21 self-reported smokers compared to in 11 self-reported nonsmokers (404+/-258 fmol versus 59+/-56 fmol HPB/mg DNA, respectively). HPB-releasing hemoglobin adduct concentrations were only marginally higher in a subset of 12 smokers compared to in 7 nonsmokers (63+/-53 fmol versus 42+/-34 fmol HPB/g hemoglobin; p=0.36). No correlation was found between HPB-releasing adducts in DNA and hemoglobin (p=0.074).

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