Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem Pharmacol. 1988 May 15;37(10):1981-90.

The mechanism of the suicidal, reductive inactivation of microsomal cytochrome P-450 by carbon tetrachloride.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.


1. Stoichiometric losses of microsomal haem and cytochrome P-450 were observed when carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was incubated anaerobically with rat liver microsomes using NADPH or sodium dithionite as a reducing agent. A rapid destruction of haem was also observed during the non-enzymatic reductive incubation of CCl4 with soluble haem preparations (methaemalbumin) in presence of sodium dithionite. The results indicate that haem is both the site and the target of the suicidal activation of CCl4 by cytochrome P-450. 2. When an additional, fluorimetric assay for haem determination was used, an equimolar loss of protoporphyrin IX fluorescence was also observed in both the enzymatic and non-enzymatic system, indicating that the haem moiety of cytochrome P-450 has undergone a structural change, involving either loss or labilization of the porphyrin tetrapyrrolic structure. In both systems the loss of porphyrin was prevented by carbon monoxide (CO). 3. A dichlorocarbene-cytochrome P-450 ligand complex is partially responsible for the difference spectrum obtained on addition of CCl4 to anaerobically reduced rat liver microsomes. A molar extinction coefficient for this complex has been calculated. The carbene trapping agent 2,3-dimethyl-2-butene (DMB) strongly inhibited (greater than 95%) the formation of this spectrum but did not modify the loss of haem in reduced CCl4-supplemented microsomal incubations. The results suggest that dichlorocarbene (:CCl2) is not significantly involved in CCl4-dependent haem destruction. 4. Pretreatment of rats with different microsomal enzyme inducers was responsible for similar but not identical patterns of :CCl2 and CO formation and haem loss during incubation of CCl4 with reduced microsomes. This indicates a critical role of CCl4 metabolism in the suicidal destruction of cytochrome P-450 haem and suggests that the apoprotein of cytochrome P-450 is capable of modulating not only the metabolism of CCl4 to :CCl2 but also the hydrolysis of :CCl2 to CO. 5. Inactivation of cytochrome P-450 by CCl4 with reduced microsomes from Aroclor-pretreated rats was saturable and followed pseudo first-order kinetics. This provides further evidence to conclude that CCl4 activation is a suicidal process where the reactive metabolite(s) formed bind to haem, we predict, in a one to one stoichiometry. 6. The partition ratio between loss of cytochrome P-450 haem and CCl4 metabolism by liver microsomes from Aroclor pretreated rats has been investigated using limiting concentrations of CCl4. It was calculated that approximately 26 molecules of CCl4 had to be metabolised to achieve the loss of one molecule of haem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center