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Chem Res Toxicol. 2014 Feb 17;27(2):188-99. doi: 10.1021/tx400277w. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Identification and quantification of protein adducts formed by metabolites of 1-methoxy-3-indolylmethyl glucosinolate in vitro and in mouse models.

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German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), Potsdam-Rehbrücke , Department of Nutritional Toxicology, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany.


1-Methoxy-3-indolylmethyl (1-MIM) glucosinolate (GLS) occurring in cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous plants is a potent mutagen requiring metabolic activation by myrosinase present in plant cells and intestinal bacteria. We previously reported that 1-MIM-GLS and its alcoholic breakdown product 1-MIM-OH, which requires additional activation by sulfotransferases, form DNA adducts in mice. In the present study, the formation of protein adducts was investigated. First, two major adducts obtained after incubation of individual amino acids, serum albumin, or hemoglobin with 1-MIM-GLS in the presence of myrosinase were identified as τN-(1-MIM)-His and πN-(1-MIM)-His using MS and NMR spectroscopy. After the development of a specific detection method using isotope-dilution UPLC-ESI-MS/MS, adduct formation was confirmed in mice after oral treatment with 1-MIM-GLS. Adduct levels were highest in the cecum and colon, somewhat lower in serum albumin and the liver, and also readily detectable in the lung and hemoglobin. On the contrary, oral treatment with 1-MIM-OH produced the highest adduct levels in the liver. The higher ratio of albumin to hemoglobin adducts in 1-MIM-OH- compared to 1-MIM-GLS-treated animals (8.1 versus 3.5) suggests that in 1-MIM-OH-treated animals albumin adducts were produced mostly in the liver, the site of albumin synthesis. The formation of adducts was approximately linear over a range of single oral doses from 20 to 600 μmol/kg body mass. Repeated oral administration of 1-MIM-OH (up to 40 treatments, thrice per week) led to continuous accumulation of hemoglobin adducts, whereas the level of serum albumin adducts remained rather constant, which reflects the different turnover rates of these proteins (t1/2 nearly 1.9 d for serum albumin and 25 d for hemoglobin in the mouse). Accumulation of adducts was also noticed in the lung. Adduct levels were higher, but their accumulation was weaker in the liver and kidney. The method developed will be useful to assess the exposure of humans to reactive metabolites formed from 1-MIM-GLS present in many foods.

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