Human CYP2E1-dependent mutagenicity of mono- and dichlorobiphenyls in Chinese hamster (V79)-derived cells.

PMID 26547025


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of persistent organic pollutants with confirmed carcinogenicity to humans. Metabolic activation of lower chlorinated PCBs to genotoxic metabolites may involve hydroxylation and further oxidation, and some hydroxylated metabolites may be sulfo-conjugated. However, the genotoxicity of individual PCB compounds is largely unknown. In this study, 15 mono- and dichlorobiphenyls were investigated for genotoxicity using the micronucleus and Hprt mutagenicity assays in a Chinese hamster V79-derived cell line expressing both human cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2E1 and human sulfotransferase (SULT) 1A1 (V79-hCYP2E1-hSULT1A1). All tested compounds were inactive in both assays in V79 control cells. However, eight dichlorobiphenyls strongly induced micronuclei and other congeners were weakly positive for this endpoint in V79-hCYP2E1-hSULT1A1 cells. The effects of each PCB in V79-hCYP2E1-hSULT1A1 cells were abolished or reduced in the presence of a CYP2E1 inhibitor (1-aminobenzotriazole), or enhanced by pretreatment of the cells with (CYP2E1-inducing) ethanol, while the genotoxicity was not significantly affected by a SULT1 inhibitor (pentachlorophenol). As representative dichlorobiphenyls, PCB 5, 10, 8 and 11 (2,3-, 2,5-, 2,4'- and 3,3'-dichlorobiphenyl, respectively) strongly induced Hprt gene mutations in V79-hCYP2E1-hSULT1A1 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. This is the first indication that human CYP2E1 is capable of converting a series of dichlorobiphenyls to strong mutagens.