Enzyme-mediated dialdehyde formation: An alternative pathway for benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol bioactivation

K. H. Stansbury, D. M. Noll, J. D. Groopman, M. A. Trush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzo[a]pyrene, are widespread environmental carcinogens of human concern. Several enzymatic systems have been shown to activate benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol, the proximate carcinogenic metabolite of benzo[a]pyrene, to a reactive species which produces both a chemiluminescence response and genotoxic lesions. The chemiluminescence response has been proposed to be the result of the formation of a dioxetane which upon ring opening forms a reactive dialdehyde intermediate. In in vitro incubations involving phorbol ester-stimulated human polymorphonuclear leukocytes or an isolated enzyme system consisting of myeloperoxidase, taurine, and hydrogen peroxide, a prolonged (> 60 min) chemiluminescence response was observed from benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol. HPLC analysis of the reaction mixture revealed the existence of a product which is dependent upon both taurine and the hydrocarbon. Characterization of this product using UV, NMR, and MS indicated that the product is a pyrene with two side chains resulting from bond breakage of a ring, yielding a dialdehyde. These side chains contain a portion of taurine covalently attached through imine formation with the aldehydes resulting from dioxetane ring opening. Replacement of taurine with either protein or DNA also produced a prolonged chemiluminescence response. These results demonstrate for the first time the formation of a novel electrophilic species from benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol which along with an increased production of photons from this activation mechanism may lead to DNA and/or protein damage that is different from that elicited by diol epoxides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1180
Number of pages7
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Enzyme-mediated dialdehyde formation: An alternative pathway for benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol bioactivation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this