The effects of coffee on enzymes involved in metabolism of the dietary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine in rats

Robert J. Turesky, Janique Richoz, Anne Constable, Kellie D. Curtis, Karen H. Dingley, Kenneth W. Turteltaub

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35 Scopus citations


The effects of coffee on the metabolism and genotoxicity of the dietary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) were investigated. Coffee diminished the bacterial mutagenicity of PhIP in the Ames reversion assay through inhibition of cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2), a key enzyme involved in the metabolic activation of PhIP. When given as part of the diet (0, 1 or 5% w/w) to male Fischer-344 rats for 2 weeks, coffee affected the expression of hepatic enzymes involved in PhIP metabolism. Coffee increased the expression of CYP1A2 by 16-fold in the 5% coffee-treated group, and approximately half of this inductive effect was attributed to caffeine. Coffee also increased the expression of enzymes involved in the detoxication of PhIP. A 2-fold increase in expression of glutathione S-transferase alpha was observed, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase (UGTs) activities of p-nitrophenol increased 2-fold, while N2-and N3-glucuronidation of the genotoxic metabolite 2-hydroxyamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (HONH-PhIP) increased by 1.3-fold in the 5% coffee-treated over the control group. The amount of PhIP (0.75 mg/kg, 24 h) eliminated in urine as the N2-and N3-glucuronide conjugates of HONH-PhIP increased by 1.8- and 2.5-fold, respectively, in the 5% coffee-treated group over control rats, suggesting either increased rates of N-oxidation of PhIP or N-glucuronidation of HONH-PhIP. Despite the strong induction of CYP1A2, there was no increase in PhIP-DNA adduct formation in colon and pancreas while liver adducts decreased by 50% over control animals. These data suggest that the effect of coffee on inhibition of PhIP N-oxidation and ensuing DNA damage is more important in vivo than its effect on induction of PhIP N-hydroxylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The excellent technical work of Mme. J. Markovic and Mme. N. Varga (Nestec Ltd) are greatly appreciated. The authors is appreciative of the valuable comments provided by Dr F. Beland and Dr F. Kadlubar, NCTR. Portions of this work pertaining to the use of accelerator mass spectrometry was supported by NIH RR13461 and was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.


  • Caffeine
  • Chemoprotection
  • Coffee
  • Heterocyclic aromatic amines
  • Metabolism


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