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

Cytotoxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon o-quinones in rat and human hepatoma cells.

A novel pathway of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolism involves the oxidation of non-K-region trans-dihydrodiols by dihydrodiol dehydrogenase ( DD) to yield PAH o-quinones whose cytotoxicity and genotoxicity are unknown. The cytotoxicity of several PAH o-quinones derived from this reaction [naphthalene-1,2-dione (NPQ), benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-dione (BPQ), and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-3,4-dione (DMBAQ)] was examined in rat (H-4IIe) and human (Hep-G2) hepatoma cells which are known to express DD. 2-Methylnaphthalene-1,4-dione (menadione), a known cytotoxic p-quinone, was used as a positive control. Hepatoma cells (1 x 10(6) cells/mL) were exposed to PAH o-quinones (1-100 microM) for 0-4 h, and cell viability and survival were measured and related to O2.- production and changes in redox potential [GSSG/GSH and NAD(P)+/NAD(P)H]. Three different modes of cytotoxicity were observed: (1) NPQ (no bay region) and DMBAQ (methylated bay region) were as cytotoxic as menadione in reducing cell survival but had less effect on cell viability. These o-quinones adversely affected GSH levels and the redox state of the cell and caused an increase in the production of O2.- in cell suspensions. This cytotoxicity was not enhanced by dicoumarol (10 microM), a DT-diaphorase inhibitor, implying that this enzyme is unable to prevent these PAH o-quinones from entering one-electron redox-cycles. (2) BPQ (bay region only) was the least cytotoxic of the PAH o-quinones studied. BPQ decreased cell viability (< 40% at 20 microM) but did not adversely affect cell survival or the redox state of the cell.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Cytotoxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon o-quinones in rat and human hepatoma cells. Flowers-Geary, L., Harvey, R.G., Penning, T.M. Chem. Res. Toxicol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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