Metabolic activation of the cooked meat carcinogen 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine in human prostate

Medjda Bellamri, Shun Xiao, Paari Murugan, Christopher J. Weight, Robert J. Turesky

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7 Scopus citations


2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), an heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) formed in cooked meat, is a rodent and possible human prostate carcinogen. Recently, we identified DNA adducts of PhIP in the genome of prostate cancer patients, but adducts of 2-amino-3, 8-dimethylmidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and 2-amino-9Hpyrido[ 2,3-b]indole (AαC), other prominent HAAs formed in cooked meats, were not detected. We have investigated the bioactivation of HAAs by Phase I and II enzymes in the human prostate (LNCaP) cell line using cytotoxicity and DNA adducts as endpoints. PhIP, MeIQx, and 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, another HAA found in cooked meats, were poorly bioactivated and not toxic. The synthetic genotoxic N-hydroxylated-HAAs were also assayed in LNCaP cells with Phase II enzyme inhibitors. Notably, 2-hydroxy-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (HONH-PhIP), but not other HONH-HAAs, induced cytotoxicity. Moreover, PhIP-DNA adduct formation was 20-fold greater than adducts formed with other HONH-HAAs. Pretreatment of LNCaP cells with mefenamic acid, a specific inhibitor of sulfotransferase (SULT1A1), decreased PhIP-DNA adducts by 25%, whereas (Z)-5-(20-hydroxybenzylidene)-2-thioxothiazolidin-4-one and pentachlorophenol, inhibitors of SULTs and N-acetyltransferases (NATs), decreased the PhIP-DNA adduct levels by 75%. NATs in cytosolic fractions of LNCaP cells and human prostate catalyzed DNA binding of HONH-PhIP by up to 100-fold greater levels than for SULT and kinase activities. Recombinant NAT2 is catalytically superior to recombinant NAT1 in the bioactivation of HONH-PhIP; however, the extremely low levels of NAT2 activity in prostate suggest that NAT1 may be the major isoform involved in PhIP-DNA damage. Thus, the high susceptibility of LNCaP cells recapitulates the DNA-damaging effect of HONH-PhIP in rodent and human prostate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-556
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R01CA122320 to R.J.T.); National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH Award Number UL1TR000114). Mass spectrometry was carried out in the Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, funded in part by Cancer Center Support (CA-077598).


  • 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine
  • DNA adduct
  • Heterocyclic aromatic amines
  • Metabolic activation
  • Prostate cancer

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