Nitroreduction of 6-nitrobenzo[a]pyrene: a potential activation pathway in humans.

Mutation research (1988-11-01)
P P Fu, C E Cerniglia, K E Richardson, R H Heflich

6-Nitrobenzo[a]pyrene, an environmental pollutant, was metabolized by human intestinal microflora to 6-nitrosobenzo[a]pyrene and 6-aminobenzo[a]pyrene. The two-electron reduction product 6-nitrosobenzo[a]pyrene exhibited strong direct-acting mutagenicity in the Salmonella typhimurium assay. These results imply that 6-nitrobenzo[a]pyrene can be hazardous to human health via a nitroreduction activation pathway and opens the possibility that other nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are not direct-acting mutagens may be activated in vivo by a similar mechanism.

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6-Nitrobenzo[a]pyrene, BCR®, certified reference material