Stereochemistry of metabolites of a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in smokers' urine

Steven G Carmella, Ming Ye, Pramod Upadhyaya, Stephen S Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen, is believed to be important as a causative agent for lung cancer in smokers. NNK is extensively metabolized to its carbonyl reduction product 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), which, in turn, can be glucuronidated, producing [4-methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)but-1- yl]-β-O-D-glucosiduronic acid (NNAL-Gluc). Metabolism of NNK to NNAL produces a chiral center. A recent study demonstrated that (R)-NNAL is more tumorigenic in mice than (S)-NNAL and that these enantiomers have substantially different metabolic pathways. Therefore, it is important to determine the stereochemistry of NNAL and NNAL-Gluc in smokers. In this study, we used chiral stationary phase-gas chromatography-nitrosamine- selective detection with confirmation by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to determine the stereochemistry of NNAL and NNAL-Gluc in smokers' urine. The two methods agreed well. The results of analyses of urine samples from 30 smokers demonstrated that the enantiomeric distribution of NNAL in urine was 54% (R) and 46% (S) ± 7.0 (SD), whereas the diastereomeric distribution of NNAL-Gluc was 68% (R) and 32%(S) ± 8.1. These results conclusively demonstrate that both (R)- and (S)-NNAL are formed metabolically from NNK in smokers. These data are essential for furthering our understanding of the role of NNK as a cause of lung cancer in smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3602-3605
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Volume59
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1999

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