Identification of human and murine sulfotransferases able to activate hydroxylated metabolites of methyleugenol to mutagens in Salmonella typhimurium and detection of associated DNA adducts using UPLC-MS/MS methods.

PMID 22337896


Methyleugenol, a secondary metabolite present in many herbal spices, is carcinogenic in various tissues of mice and rats but negative in standard in vitro mutagenicity tests. Several observations indicate that hydroxylation followed by sulfation is an important activation pathway in the carcinogenicity and DNA adduct formation by methyleugenol and other alkenylbenzenes in animal models. However, sulfation is not taken into account in standard in vitro tests. Therefore, we have studied whether expression of murine or human sulfotransferases (SULTs) in the target strain, Salmonella typhimurium TA100, leads to the activation of hydroxylated metabolites of methyleugenol [(+)-1'-hydroxymethyleugenol, (-)-1'-hydroxymethyleugenol and (E)-3'-hydroxymethylisoeugenol]. Human SULT1A1 (a form expressed at high levels in many tissues) and SULT1C2 (expressed primarily in foetal tissues) activated all three compounds even at very low substrate concentrations. At higher concentrations, activation was also observed with human SULT1A2 and SULT1E1. Murine Sult1a1 required higher substrate concentrations than its human orthologue. Other SULT forms (human 1A3, 1C1, 1C3, 2A1 and 2B1b as well as murine 1d1) did not activate any methyleugenol metabolites studied. Furthermore, we developed isotope-dilution mass-spectrometric methods for the sensitive and specific detection of DNA adducts formed by methyleugenol metabolites. All three hydroxylated metabolites formed the same DNA adducts in S. typhimurium TA100-hSULT1A1: high levels of N (2)-(trans-methylisoeugenol-3'-yl)-2'-deoxyguanosine and modest levels of N (6)-(trans-methylisoeugenol-3'-yl)-2'-deoxyadenosine. Adduct levels correlated with the mutagenic effects induced. No adducts were formed by the test compounds in the SULT-deficient standard strain TA100. In conclusion, several methyleugenol metabolites are activated to DNA-reactive mutagens in S. typhimurium upon incorporation of appropriate sulfation capacity. We have identified human and murine SULT forms able to catalyse this activation. Methods were developed that may be utilised to analyse DNA samples from human tissues specifically for the possible presence of methyleugenol adducts.

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