The peroxidase-dependent activation of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) to reactive intermediates. Formation of BHT-quinone methide via a chemical-chemical interaction

D. C. Thompson, Y. N. Cha, M. A. Trush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The food antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are shown to be metabolized to covalent binding intemediates and various other metabolites by prostaglandin H synthase and horseradish peroxidase. BHA was extensively metabolized by horseradish peroxidase (80% conversion of parent BHA into metabolites) resulting in the formation of three dimeric products. Only two of these dimers were observed in prostaglandin H synthase-catalyzed reactions. In contrast to BHA, BHT proved to be a relatively poor substrate for prostaglandin synthase and horseradish peroxidase, resulting in the formation of a small amount of polar and aqueous metabolites (23% conversion of parent BHT into metabolites). With arachidonic acid as the substrate, prostaglandin H synthase catalyzed the covalent binding of [14C]BHA and [14C]BHT to microsomal protein which was significantly inhibited by indomethacin and glutathione. The covalent binding of BHA and its metabolism to dimeric products were also inhibited by BHT. In contrast, the addition of BHA enhanced the covalent binding of BHT by 400%. Moreover, in the presence of BHA, the formation of the polar and aqueous metabolites of BHT was increased and two additional metabolites, BHT-quinone methide and stilbenequinone, were detected. The increased peroxidase-dependent oxidation of BHT in the presence of BHA is proposed to occur via the direct chemical interaction of BHA phenoxyl radical with BHT or BHT phenoxyl radical. These results suggest a potential role for phenoxyl radicals in the activation of xenobiotic chemicals to toxic metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3957-3965
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume264
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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