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

Measurement of adducts of benzoquinone with hemoglobin and albumin.

Benzoquinones (BQ) are genotoxic species that stem from metabolism of phenolic compounds. We have developed a method for measuring adducts of 1,2- and 1,4-benzoquinone (1,2-BQ and 1,4-BQ) with cysteine residues of hemoglobin (Hb) and albumin ( Alb). The method employs a reductive catalyst (Raney nickel) to selectively cleave sulfur-bound adducts so that they may be extracted with an organic solvent, derivatized with heptafluorobutyrylimidazole and measured by GC- ECD or GC-MS. Reactions of 1,4-BQ (0-300 microM) with whole blood of both F344 rats and humans resulted in linear formation of adducts with Hb and Alb. Adducts of 1,2-BQ with human Alb were formed by activation of catechol (0-300 microM) in situ with horseradish peroxidase. The mean half lives in vitro of 1,4-BQ in blood from humans and rats were 3.5 and 0.68 h, respectively. Second-order rate constants for reaction of 1,4-BQ with Hb and Alb in whole blood were estimated to be 18 and 76 l/ mol/h for humans and 180 and 74 l/ mol/h for rats respectively. Interestingly, the following high background levels of 1,2-BQ and 1,4-BQ adducts were observed in the proteins: 1,2-BQ-human Hb = 1.5 nmol/g, rat Hb = 25.1 nmol/g; human Alb = 8.0 nmol/g; 1,4-BQ-human Hb = 27.2 nmol/g, rat Hb = 11.5 nmol/g; human Alb = 20.5 nmol/g. These large background levels of BQ adducts suggest that significant exposure to BQ precursors occurs from dietary and/or endogenous sources. Given current evidence regarding the genotoxicity of BQ, such exposures and their health consequences should be investigated.[1]


  1. Measurement of adducts of benzoquinone with hemoglobin and albumin. McDonald, T.A., Waidyanatha, S., Rappaport, S.M. Carcinogenesis (1993) [Pubmed]
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