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The role of human cytochrome P-450 IIE1 (P-450 IIE1) in the oxidation of a number of suspect carcinogens was examined by using a variety of approaches, including (1) selective inhibition of catalytic activity in human liver microsomes by diethyldithiocarbamate, which was found to be a selective mechanism-based inactivator of P-450 IIE1, (2) correlation of rates of different catalytic activities with each other and with chlorzoxazone 6-hydroxylation, an indicator of P-450 IIE1, in human liver microsomes, (3) demonstration of catalytic activity in reconstituted systems containing purified human P-450 IIE1, and (4) immunoinhibition of catalytic activity in human liver microsomes with rabbit anti-human P-450 IIE1. The results collectively indicate that P-450 IIE1 is a major catalyst of the oxidation of benzene, styrene, CCl4, CHCl3, CH2Cl2, CH3Cl, CH3CCl3, 1,2-dichloropropane, ethylene dichloride, ethylene dibromide, vinyl chloride, vinyl bromide, acrylonitrile, vinyl carbamate, ethyl carbamate, and trichloroethylene. Levels of P-450 IIE1 can vary considerably among individual humans--the availability of chlorzoxazone as a noninvasive probe of human P-450 IIE1 and of disulfiram (oxidized diethyldithiocarbamate) as an inhibitor may facilitate discernment of the in vivo significance of human P-450 IIE1 as a factor in the bioactivation and detoxication of these cancer suspects. Further, many investigations with diethyldithiocarbamate, disulfiram, and ethanol in humans and experimental animals may be interpreted in light of mechanisms involving P-450 IIE1.
Rat and human lung microsomal cytochrome P-450 (P-450) enzymes have been characterized with regard to their catalytic activities towards several xenobiotic chemicals, including procarcinogens, in different microsomal preparations. Rat lung microsomal P-450s were more active than the human P-450s in catalyzing most of the monooxygenation reactions. Human lung microsomal P-450 was solubilized and purified. Human lung microsomes contain approximately 10 pmol of P-450/mg of protein, on the basis of Fe2+.CO versus Fe2+ difference spectra of the eluates obtained from an octylamino-agarose column. The partially purified P-450 preparations from two human lung microsomal samples showed high activities for the conversion of both (+)- and (-)-isomers of 7,8-dihydroxy-7,8-dihydrobenzo(a)pyrene to genotoxic products. After DEAE-cellulose column chromatography, a partially purified P-450 fraction containing polypeptides of Mr 52,000 and 58,000 was obtained from the early fraction of the octylamino-agarose column eluate, and an electrophoretically homogeneous protein having a molecular weight of approximately 52,000 was recovered from a latter fraction. The amino-terminal amino acid sequences of the two peptides in the earlier fraction were determined; neither polypeptide appears to resemble any known P-450 protein. The protein from the latter octylamino-agarose fraction was immunoreactive with anti-rat P-450 1A2 and anti-human P-450 1A2 but not with antibodies raised against other P-450 enzymes or autoimmune antibodies that specifically recognize human P-450 1A2. A tryptic peptide was isolated from the preparation, and the amino acid sequence matched that of human P-450 1A1 perfectly (residues 31-48) but not that of human P-450 1A2. All of nine human lung microsomal samples examined contained proteins that were immunoreactive with rabbit anti-rat P-450 1A2 and catalyzed the activation of 7,8-dihydroxy-7,8-dihydrobenzo(a)pyrene. The activities could be inhibited by rabbit anti-rat P-450 1A2 and, to a lesser extent, by anti-rat P-450 1A1. The addition of 7,8-benzoflavone caused inhibition or stimulation, depending upon the particular human lung microsomal preparation. Thus, this work clearly shows that human lung microsomes contain at least two major P-450 enzymes; human P-450 1A1 is present in lungs and can actually catalyze the activation of environmental procarcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Most chemical carcinogens are not active in themselves but require bioactivation to electrophiles that bind covalently to DNA and often act by producing mutations. In recent years it has been realized that mutations can be important at many stages of carcinogenesis. A variety of different enzymes are involved in bioactivation reactions, which include oxidation, reduction, thiol conjugation, acetyl transfer, sulfur transfer, methyl transfer, glucuronosyl transfer, and epoxide hydrolysis. These processes often occur in concert with a single carcinogen. Humans vary considerably in activities of these enzymes and this variation may contribute to differences in risk.
A number of different approaches have been used to determine the catalytic selectivity of individual human enzymes toward procarcinogens. Studies with cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes and glutathione S-transferases are summarized here, and recent work with pyrrolizidine alkaloids, aflatoxins, 4,4'-methylenebis(2-chloroaniline), and ethyl carbamate is discussed. In some cases a single enzyme can catalyze both activation and detoxication reactions of a chemical. The purification and characterization of human lung P4501A1 and the development of a noninvasive assay for human P4502E1 are also described.
(7S,8S)--Dihydroxy--7,8--dihydrobenzo[a]pyrene ((+)-BP-7,8-diol) is epoxidized to (7S,8R)-dihydroxy-(9S,10R)-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene ((+)-syn-BPDE) by cytochrome P-450 isoenzymes and to (7S,8R)-dihydroxy-(9R,10S)-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene ((-)-anti-BPDE) by peroxyl free radicals. 32P postlabeling analysis of the diastereomeric BPDE-DNA adducts was used to investigate the pathways of (+)-BP-7,8-diol oxidation in mouse skin in vivo. The pattern of deoxynucleoside 3',5'-bisphosphate adducts in epidermal scrapings from female CD-1 mice indicated that cytochrome P-450 was the major oxidant. Similar results were obtained when the tumor-promoting phorbol ester tetradecanoylphorbolacetate (TPA) was coadministered with (+)-BP-7,8-diol. However, when animals were pretreated with TPA 24 h before coadministration of TPA and (+)-BP-7,8-diol, the pattern of BPDE-DNA adducts indicated that peroxyl radicals made a major contribution to (+)-BP-7,8-diol epoxidation. Peroxyl radical-dependent epoxidation was maximal when the time between the two TPA administrations was 24-72 h. No increase in (-)-anti-BPDE-DNA was observed when the non-tumor-promoting phorbol ester 4-O-methyl-TPA was substituted for TPA. The calcium ionophore A23187 stimulated peroxyl radical generation when substituted for the first, but not the second, TPA treatment. The antiinflammatory steroid fluocinolone acetonide inhibited (-)-anti-BPDE-DNA adduct formation when coadministered with the first but not the second TPA treatment. These findings demonstrate the existence of two independent pathways of metabolic activation of (+)-BP-7,8-diol in mouse epidermis, one dependent on cytochrome P-450 and the other dependent on peroxyl free radicals. The results also suggest that repetitive topical administration of tumor-promoting phorbol esters remodels epidermal metabolism leading to a significant increase in free radical generation.