Evidence for the formation of Michael adducts from reactions of (E,E)-muconaldehyde with glutathione and other thiols
ABSTRACT Glutathione induces the rapid isomerization of (Z,Z)-muconaldehyde to (E,E)-muconaldehyde via (E,Z)-muconaldehyde, probably via reversible Michael addition of the thiol to one of the enal moieties of the muconaldehyde. Reactions of (E,E)-muconaldehyde with glutathione (in the presence and absence of equine glutathione S-transferase), phenylmethanethiol, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, and N-acetyl-l-cysteine methyl ester were investigated using mass spectrometric techniques. In each case, evidence was obtained for the formation of Michael adducts, e.g., reaction between (E,E)-muconaldehyde and glutathione gave 4-glutathionyl-hex-2-enedial and 3,4-bis-glutathionyl-hexanedial. These experiments suggest that (Z,Z)-muconaldehyde, a putative metabolite of benzene, could lead to the long established urinary metabolite of benzene, (E,E)-muconic acid, via glutathione-mediated isomerization to (E,E)-muconaldehyde.
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ABSTRACT: Benzene exposure is associated with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and probably lymphoma and childhood leukemia. Biological plausibility for a causal role of benzene in these diseases comes from its toxicity to hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) or progenitor cells, from which all leukemias and related disorders arise. The effect of this toxicity is manifest as lowered blood counts (hematotoxicity), even in individuals occupationally exposed to low levels of benzene. Benzene can induce AML/MDS via several well-characterized pathways associated with these diseases. Through its metabolites, benzene induces multiple alterations that likely contribute to the leukemogenic process, and appears to operate via multiple modes of action. To improve mechanistic understanding and for risk assessment purposes, it may be possible to measure several of the key events in these modes of action in an in vitro model of the bone marrow stem cell niche. Even though benzene is leukemogenic at relatively low occupational levels of exposure, it seems unlikely that it is a major cause of leukemia in the general population exposed to benzene in the ppb range. Other established non-genetic causes of AML, e.g. smoking, ionizing radiation and cancer chemotherapy, also only explain about 20% of AML incidence, leaving ∼80% unexplained. The question arises as to how to find the causes of the majority of de novo AMLs that remain unexplained. We propose that we should attempt to characterize the 'exposome' of human leukemia by using unbiased laboratory-based methods to find the unknown 'environmental' factors that contribute to leukemia etiology.Chemico-biological interactions 02/2011; 192(1-2):155-9. DOI:10.1016/j.cbi.2011.02.010 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent evidence has shown that humans metabolize benzene more efficiently at environmental air concentrations than at concentrations > 1 ppm. This led us to speculate that an unidentified metabolic pathway was mainly responsible for benzene metabolism at ambient levels. We statistically tested whether human metabolism of benzene is better fitted by a kinetic model having two pathways rather than one. We fit Michaelis-Menten-like models to levels of urinary benzene metabolites and the corresponding air concentrations for 263 nonsmoking Chinese females. Estimated benzene concentrations ranged from less than 0.001 ppm to 299 ppm, with 10th and 90th percentile values of 0.002 ppm and 8.97 ppm, respectively. Using values of Akaike's information criterion obtained under the two models, we found strong statistical evidence favoring two metabolic pathways, with respective affinities (benzene air concentrations analogous to K(m) values) of 301 ppm for the low-affinity pathway (probably dominated by cytochrome P450 enzyme 2E1) and 0.594 ppm for the high-affinity pathway (unknown). The exposure-specific metabolite level predicted by our two-pathway model at nonsaturating concentrations was 184 muM/ppm of benzene, a value close to an independent estimate of 194 muM/ppm for a typical nonsmoking Chinese female. Our results indicate that a nonsmoking woman would metabolize about three times more benzene from the ambient environment under the two-pathway model (184 muM/ppm) than under the one-pathway model (68.6 muM/ppm). In fact, 73% of the ambient benzene dose would be metabolized via the unidentified high-affinity pathway. Because regulatory risk assessments have assumed nonsaturating metabolism of benzene in persons exposed to air concentrations well above 10 ppm, our findings suggest that the true leukemia risks could be substantially greater than currently thought at ambient levels of exposure-about 3-fold higher among nonsmoking females in the general population.Environmental Health Perspectives 06/2009; 117(6):946-52. DOI:10.1289/ehp.0800510 · 7.03 Impact Factor