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

Metabolism of chemical carcinogens by cultured human and rat bladder epithelial cells.

The metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene, aflatoxin B1, N-nitrosodimethylamine, N-nitrosoethylmethylamine, and N-nitrosopyrrolidine has been studied in cultures of normal human and rat urinary bladder epithelial cells. The cultures were incubated with radioactively labeled carcinogens for 24 h, and the metabolism was assayed by binding of reactive metabolites to DNa and by the release of metabolites into the medium. Only slight variation in binding level of benzo[a]pyrene to DNa among the three human bladder cell lines was seen, the level of binding being higher than to rat DNA. The major benzo[a]pyrene-DNA adduct (80%) in human bladder cells eluted prior to the adducts formed by reaction of 7,8-dihydroxy-9,10-epoxy - 7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenz[a]pyrene with guanine by high pressure liquid chromatography, but has yet to be identified. The benzo[a]pyrene-DNA adducts were quickly removed and only about 10% of the radioactivity remained associated with human bladder DNA 72 h post-treatment with benzo[a]pyrene. The 7,8- and 9,10-diols of benzo[a]pyrene were the major organo-soluble metabolites formed by both rat and human bladder cells. The primary benzo[a]pyrene metabolites were conjugated to a minor extent only. The highest level of modification of DNA was seen in the case of N-nitrosodimethylamine. N-Nitrosopyrrolidine was oxidized in both the alpha-and beta-position by all three cell lines, the oxidation at the alpha-position being predominant. No binding to DNA was detectable with N-nitrosoethylmethylamine, although this compound was metabolized as measured by the formation of CO2 and aldehydes. These results add the urinary bladder to the list of human organs which have been shown to metabolize chemical carcinogens into electropositive metabolites. However, qualitative differences exist between the data from bladder cells and those from other human organs.[1]


  1. Metabolism of chemical carcinogens by cultured human and rat bladder epithelial cells. Autrup, H., Grafstrom, R.C., Christensen, B., Kieler, J. Carcinogenesis (1981) [Pubmed]
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