Capturing labile sulfenamide and sulfinamide serum albumin adducts of carcinogenic arylamines by chemical oxidation

Lijuan Peng, Robert J. Turesky

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16 Scopus citations


Aromatic amines and heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) are a class of structurally related carcinogens that are formed during the combustion of tobacco or during the high temperature cooking of meats. These procarcinogens undergo metabolic activation by N-oxidation of the exocyclic amine group to produce N-hydroxylated metabolites, which are critical intermediates implicated in toxicity and DNA damage. The arylhydroxylamines and their oxidized arylnitroso derivatives can also react with cysteine (Cys) residues of glutathione or proteins to form, respectively, sulfenamide and sulfinamide adducts. However, sulfur-nitrogen linked adducted proteins are often difficult to detect because they are unstable and undergo hydrolysis during proteolytic digestion. Synthetic N-oxidized intermediates of 2-amino-1-methyl-6- phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), a carcinogenic HAA produced in cooked meats, and 4-aminobiphenyl, a carcinogenic aromatic amine present in tobacco smoke, were reacted with human serum albumin (SA) and formed labile sulfenamide or sulfinamide adducts at the Cys34 residue. Oxidation of the carcinogen-modified SA with m-chloroperoxybenzoic acid (m-CPBA) produced the arylsulfonamide adducts, which were stable to heat and the chemical reduction conditions employed to denature SA. The sulfonamide adducts of PhIP and 4-ABP were identified, by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, in proteolytic digests of denatured SA. Thus, selective oxidation of arylamine-modified SA produces stable arylsulfonamide-SA adducts, which may serve as biomarkers of these tobacco and dietary carcinogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1072
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2013


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