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

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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



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

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