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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human and Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase hydrolysis of glucuronide conjugates of benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, and their hydroxy metabolites.

Individuals exposed to carcinogenic aromatic amines excrete arylamine N- and O-glucuronide metabolites. This study assessed the susceptibility of selected glucuronides to hydrolysis by human and Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase. N- or O-glucuronides were prepared with the following aglycones: benzidine, N-acetylbenzidine, N'-hydroxy-N-acetylbenzidine, N-hydroxy-N-acetylbenzidine, N-hydroxy-N,N'-diacetylbenzidine, 3-hydroxy-N,N'-diacetylbenzidine, 3-hydroxy-benzidine, 4-aminobiphenyl, N-hydroxy-4-aminobiphenyl, and N-hydroxy-N-acetyl-4-aminobiphenyl. The (3)H- and (14)C-labeled glucuronides were prepared with human or rat liver microsomes using UDP-glucuronic acid as cosubstrate. Each of the 10 glucuronides (6-12 microM) was incubated at pH 5.5 or 7.0 with either human recombinant (pure) or E. coli (commercial preparation) beta-glucuronidase for 30 min at 37 degrees C. Hydrolysis was measured by HPLC. Reaction conditions were optimized, using the O-glucuronide of N-hydroxy-N,N'-diacetylbenzidine. Both enzymes preferentially hydrolyzed O-glucuronides over N-glucuronides and distinguished between structural isomers. With E. coli beta-glucuronidase at pH 7.0, selectivity was demonstrated by the complete hydrolysis of N-hydroxy-N-acetyl-4-aminobiphenyl O-glucuronide in the presence of N-acetylbenzidine N-glucuronide, which was not hydrolyzed. Metabolism by both enzymes was completely inhibited by the specific beta-glucuronidase inhibitor saccharic acid-1,4-lactone (0.5 mM). The concentration of human beta-glucuronidase necessary to achieve significant hydrolysis of glucuronides was substantially more than the amount of enzyme reported previously to be present in urine under either normal or pathological conditions. The bacterial enzyme may hydrolyze O-glucuronides, but not N-glucuronides, in urine at neutral pH. Thus, the nonenzymatic hydrolysis of N-glucuronides by acidic urine is likely a more important source of free amine than enzymatic hydrolysis.[1]


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