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

The cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of conjugated trans-2-nonenal (T2N), an off-flavor compound in beer and heat processed food arising from lipid oxidation.

This study investigates the toxic effect of E(2)nonenal (trans-2-nonenal, T2N) and its conjugate with horse muscle myoglobin ( Mb) tested on murine cell line L929 and human cell line A549, as well as the genotoxic effect of these compounds assayed by measuring of micronuclei in human cells K562. It is an aldehyde, which is occurring as the substance responsible for an off flavour in aged beers, but originates also from lipid oxidation in heat processed food. T2N is an aldehyde formed from linoleic acid as a secondary oxidation product. The modification of Mb with T2N was analyzed with the use of SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results from SDS-PAGE suggest that T2N substitutes Mb and additionally causes cross-linking with polymerization of Mb resulting in an insoluble fraction. The ESI-MS spectrum of the soluble fraction used in the toxicity tests, demonstrated that conjugation of T2N with Mb yielded Mb adducts with one residue of trans-2-nonenal per myoglobin molecule as the major fraction and adducts with different numbers of T2N molecules as minor fractions. In the cytotoxicity assay the T2N and its Mb conjugate causes 50% destruction of cells at the concentration 95-125 microg/ml and 200 microg/ml respectively, when L929 and A549 cell lines were used, whereas Mb control tested up to 2000 mg/ml was without any cytotoxic effect. In genotoxicity in vitro assay we have observed that the T2N and its Mb conjugate expressed the genotoxicity. The number of micronuclei in human K562 cells reached 26 +/- 2.16 promille (MN/1000 cells), comparing to 62 +/- 8.64 MN/1000 cells for the reference free T2N, whereas a control value was 10.33 +/- 1.25 MN/1000 cells. The studied compounds expressed also the apoptotic effect in K562 cells as the number of apoptotic cells increased to 44.67 +/- 4.92 promille for T2N- Mb, comparing to 168.67 +/- 37.28 promille for free T2N, whereas a control value was 30.33 +/- 1.36 promille for Mb. In these assays the T2N- Mb conjugate is several times more toxic in relation to control protein. Results indicate that T2N adducts with protein are potent to induce various cytotoxic and apoptotic effects when assayed in vitro tests. It suggests that higher level of such aldehyde might create in organism severe potential of toxicity.[1]


  1. The cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of conjugated trans-2-nonenal (T2N), an off-flavor compound in beer and heat processed food arising from lipid oxidation. Dey, E.S., Staniszewska, M., Paściak, M., Konopacka, M., Rogoliński, J., Gamian, A., Danielsson, B. Pol. J. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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