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Biochemistry. 1996 Dec 10;35(49):15807-13.

Stereoselective epoxidation and hydration at the K-region of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by cDNA-expressed cytochromes P450 1A1, 1A2, and epoxide hydrolase.

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Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Stereoselective epoxidation by cytochrome P450s (P450s) and regioselective hydration by epoxide hydrolase determine the carcinogenic potency of some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In this report, cDNA-expressed human and mouse P450s 1A1 and 1A2 and epoxide hydrolase were used to characterize the stereoselective epoxidation and regioselective hydration at the K-region of benz[a]-anthracene (BA), 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), chrysene (CR), benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), dibenz[a,h]anthracene (DB[a,h]A), and benzo[c]phenanthrene (B[c]Ph) by direct chiral stationary-phase HPLC (CSP-HPLC) analyses. Our results indicated that all P450 isoforms preferentially produced major K-region, S,R-epoxides of BA (95-98%), DMBA (94-97%), B[a]P (91-96%), DB[a,h]A (94-98%), and B[c]Ph (87-92%), and major R,S-epoxide of CR (74-85%) in the presence of 3,3,3-trichloropropylene 1,2-oxide (TCPO), an inhibitor of epoxide hydrolase, suggesting that P450 enzymes exhibited the high stereoselectivity toward one of two stereoheterotopic faces of K-region double bond of the PAHs. Epoxide hydrolase either expressed from recombinant vaccinia virus or contained in human hepatoma G2 cells (HepG2) hydrated the C-O bond of epoxy-ring at the S-carbon of major metabolically-formed K-region epoxide enantiomers of BA, CR, DMBA, B[a]P, and DB[a,h]A to yield 80-98% dihydrodiols enriched in R,R-form and that at the R-carbon of B[c]Ph epoxide to yield 77-92% dihydrodiol enriched in S,S-form, suggesting that epoxide hydrolase was highly regioselective. The various enantiomeric components of dihydrodiol products in the metabolism of PAHs were apparently due to the combined effect of stereoselectivity of the P450s and regioselectivity of epoxide hydrolase. Our results provide a clear understanding of how these enzymes catalyze overall stereoselective metabolism at the K-region of the PAHs.

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