Inhibition of CYP1A1-dependent activity by the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fluoranthene

Kristine L. Willett, Kurt Randerath, Guo Dong Zhou, Stephen H. Safe

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67 Scopus citations


Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAlls) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants, and recently bioassay-based induction studies have been used to determine exposures to complex mixtures of PAils. Induction of CYP1A1- dependent activity in H4IIE rat hepatoma cells has been used extensively as a bioassay for halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons and more recently for PAHs. Fluoranthene (FL) is a prevalent PAH contaminant in diverse environmental samples, and FL did not induce CYP1A1-dependent ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity significantly in H4IIE cells. However, in cells cotreated with 2 x 10-5 M FL plus the potent inducers 2,3,7,8. tetrachlorodibenzo-p- dioxin (TCDD) or benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkF) (2 X 10-8 M), there was a significant decrease in EROD activities. Furthermore, treatment of TCDD- induced rat microsomes with FL caused an 80% decrease in EROD activity. Studies showed that FL did not affect induction of CYP1A1 protein or mRNA levels in H4IIE cells, and analysis of enzyme inhibition data using microsomal CYP1A1 indicated that FL noncompetitively inhibited CYP1A1- dependent activity. 32P-Postlabeling revealed no significant FL-DNA adduct formation in H4IIE cells treated with FL. However, in cells cotreated with FL plus BkF or benzo[α]pyrene (BaP), certain PAH-DNA adducts were induced 2- fold. This study demonstrated that FL is an inhibitor of CYP1A1-dependent enzyme activity in rat hepatoma H4IIE cells and that the genotoxic potency of some carcinogenic PAHs may be modulated by FL in mixtures containing relatively high levels of this compound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1998


  • Ah receptor
  • CYP1A1
  • DNA adducts
  • Fluoranthene
  • H4IIE cells
  • PAHs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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