Serum albumin (Alb) is the most abundant protein in blood plasma. Alb reacts with many carcinogens and/or their electrophilic metabolites. Studies conducted over 20 years ago showed that Alb forms adducts with the human carcinogens aflatoxin B1 and benzene, which were successfully used as biomarkers in molecular epidemiology studies designed to address the role of these chemicals in cancer risk. Alb forms adducts with many therapeutic drugs or their reactive metabolites such as β-lactam antibiotics, acetylsalicylic acid, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chemotherapeutic agents, and antiretroviral therapy drugs. The identification and characterization of the adduct structures formed with Alb have served to understand the generation of reactive metabolites and to predict idiosyncratic drug reactions and toxicities. The reaction of candidate drugs with Alb is now exploited as part of the battery of screening tools to assess the potential toxicities of drugs. The use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) enabled the identification and quantification of multiple types of Alb xenobiotic adducts in animals and humans during the past three decades. In this perspective, we highlight the history of Alb as a target protein for adduction to environmental and dietary genotoxicants, pesticides, and herbicides, common classes of medicinal drugs, and endogenous electrophiles, and the emerging analytical mass spectrometry technologies to identify Alb-toxicant adducts in humans.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research conducted in the Turesky laboratory was supported by Grants R01CA122320, RO1CA134700, and R01CA134700-03S1 from the National Cancer Institute and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and 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 Grant CA-077598.
© 2016 American Chemical Society.