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Xenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems

Reduction of stilbene oxide and styrene oxide to the corresponding alkenes by intestinal bacteria.


PMID 10821165

Abstract

1. This study provides the first evidence that stilbene oxide and styrene oxide are reductively metabolized to the corresponding alkenes by intestinal bacteria in animals. 2. When trans- or cis-stilbene oxide were incubated with the caecal contents of rat under anaerobic conditions, both trans- and cis-stilbene were isolated from the incubation mixture. Styrene oxide was also reduced to styrene by rat caecal contents. 3. Caecal contents of mouse, hamster and guinea pig also exhibited alkene oxide reductase activities toward cis- and trans-stilbene oxides, and styrene oxide. In contrast, liver microsomes or cytosol exhibited no epoxide reductase activities toward these substrates. 4. Seven pure strains of intestinal bacteria exhibited alkene oxide reductase activities of varying degrees under anaerobic conditions, with the highest activity being observed in Clostridium sporogenes. 5. Cell-free extracts of either the intestinal bacteria in rat caecal contents or C. sporogenes exhibited reductase activity when supplemented with both NAD(P)H and FMN under anaerobic conditions. Reductase activity was also observed on addition of the photochemically reduced form of FMN instead of both NAD(P)H and FMN.

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