Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1998, 63, 857-869

To the Mechanism of 2-Nitroanisole Carcinogenicity: in vitro Metabolism of 2-Nitroanisole Mediated by Peroxidasesand Xanthine Oxidase

Marie Stiborováa, Heinz H. Schmeiserb and Eva Freib

a Department of Biochemistry, Charles University, 128 40 Prague 2, Czech Republic
b Department of Molecular Toxicology, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany


The in vitro enzymatic metabolism of carcinogenic 2-nitroanisole was investigated using peroxidases (horseradish peroxidase and prostaglandin H synthase) and xanthine oxidase catalyzing oxidative and reductive reactions, respectively. The oxidation of 2-nitroanisole catalyzed by horseradish peroxidase exhibits the Michaelis-Menten kinetics. The Michaelis constant (Km) and the maximal velocity (Vmax) values for this substrate were determined at pH 5.0, 7.0, 7.6 and 8.0. At optimal pH (7.6), the Km and Vmax values are 0.219 μmol/l and 34.45 pmol/min per nmol peroxidase, respectively. The oxidation of 2-nitroanisole is inhibited by radical trapping agents (NADH, ascorbate, glutathione and nitrosobenzene). This indicates that the peroxidase-mediated oxidation of 2-nitroanisole proceeds via a radical mechanism. Active oxygen species are formed during the horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed reactions in the presence of NADH, hydrogen peroxide and 2-nitroanisole. 2-Nitroanisole is also oxidized by mammalian prostaglandin H synthase. Using the nuclease P1-enhanced variation of the 32P-postlabelling assay, the formation of DNA adducts was detected in DNA treated with 2-nitroanisole and xanthine oxidase. No DNA binding was detected after oxidation of 2-nitroanisole with horseradish peroxidase and prostaglandin H synthase. The results presented (the formation of DNA adducts after 2-nitroanisole activation by xanthine oxidase and that of radicals and/or superoxide radicals during the reactions with peroxidases) strongly suggest the participation of 2-nitroanisole both in the initiation and in the promotion phases of carcinogenesis.

Keywords: Carcinogens; Nitro compounds; Oxidation; Reduction; Radicals; DNA adducts; Initiation and promotion phases of carcinogenesis.