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

N-acetyltransferase expression and metabolic activation of the food-derived heterocyclic amines in the human mammary gland.

The heterocyclic amines (HCAs) found in cooked meat are procarcinogens that are metabolically activated by N-hydroxylation followed by O-acetylation by the N-acetyltransferases NAT1 and NAT2. Despite the importance of metabolic activation in HCA carcinogenicity and the finding that several HCAs are rodent mammary gland carcinogens, nothing was known about O-acetylation activity in the human mammary gland. The current study examines the expression and catalytic activity of NAT toward the N-hydroxy-HCAs 2-hydroxyamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (N-hydroxy-PhIP) and 2-hydroxy-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (N-hydroxy-IQ) in the human mammary gland. Mammary gland cytosol from 10 women and lysates from a primary culture of human mammary epithelial cells metabolically activated 2-hydroxyamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine and 2-hydroxyamino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline by NAT-mediated 0-acetyltransferase, as measured by the acetyl CoA-enhanced binding of the N-hydroxylamines to calf thymus DNA in vitro. N-acetylation of p-aminosalicylic, an activity specific to NAT1, but not N-acetylation of sulfamethazine, an activity specific to NAT2, was detected in the mammary gland cytosols and human mammary epithelial cell lysates. Immunohistochemical analysis of human mammary gland sections showed positive staining for NAT1 protein in the epithelial cells lining the mammary gland ducts. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis showed that mRNA transcripts for both NAT1 and NAT2 were present in human mammary gland; however, no NAT2 catalytic activity was detectable. Our data demonstrate for the first time that the human mammary gland is catalytically active toward the metabolic activation of HCA food mutagens, and that this activity is most likely contributed by NAT1 expressed in the ductular epithelial cells of the mammary gland.[1]


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