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Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1993 Feb;104(2):335-44.

The metabolism of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


1. Earthworms can hydrolyze di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) to mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) and phthalic acid (PA). 2. They apparently cannot produce the side-chain-oxidized derivatives of MEHP that constitute the major DEHP metabolites in higher animals. 3. With the assistance of intestinal bacterial Pseudomonas, the worm-derived PA is degraded through protocatechuic and beta-carboxymuconic acids to CO2. 4. There is an indication of a second pathway for degradation of PA leading through benzoic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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