Binding of mutagenic heterocyclic amines by intestinal and lactic acid bacteria

K. Orrhage, E. Sillerström, J. Å Gustafsson, C. E. Nord, J. Rafter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Lactic acid bacteria have been reported to have antimutagenic/anticarcinogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. One possible mechanism for this effect involves a physical binding of the mutagenic compounds to the bacteria. The purpose of the present investigation was to study the binding capacity of eight human intestinal or lactac acid bacterial strains of mutagenic heterocyclic amines formed during cooking of protein-rich food. Binding of the mutagens Trp-P-2, PhIP, IQ and MeIQx by the bacterial strains was analyzed by HPLC. There were only minor differences in the binding capacities of the tested strains but the mutagenic compounds were bound with markedly different efficiencies. Trp-P-2 was almost completely bound and the binding tended not to be of a reversible nature. The binding of PhIP, which reached about 50%, was important as PhIP is a major mutagen in the western diet. IQ and MeIQx were slightly less well bound. pH appeared to be of importance for the binding efficacy. Binding correlated well with the reduction in mutagenicity observed after exposure of the heterocyclic amines to the bacterial strains. The results indicated that cooked food mutagenic compounds, commonly found in the western meat-rich diet, can be found to bacteria from the normal intestinal microflora in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalMutation Research Regular Papers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


  • Antimutagenicity
  • Bacterial binding
  • Heterocyclic amine
  • Intestinal bacteria
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Mutagenic pyrolysate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Molecular Biology


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