Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2002, 67, 1883-1898

Metabolism of Carcinogenic Azo Dye Sudan I by Rat, Rabbit, Minipig and Human Hepatic Microsomes

Václav Martínek and Marie Stiborová*

Department of Biochemistry, Charles University, Albertov 2030, 128 40 Prague 2, Czech Republic


We investigated the ability of hepatic microsomal samples from different species including human to metabolize rodent carcinogen Sudan I (C.I. Solvent Yellow 14, 1-(phenylazo)-2-naphthol). A comparison between experimental animals and the human microsomal enzymatic system is essential for the extrapolation of animal carcinogenicity data to assess human health risk. Major metabolites produced from Sudan I by microsomes of all species were C-hydroxylated derivatives identified as 1-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)azo]-2-naphthol and 1-(phenylazo)naphthalene-2,6-diol. Additional minor C-hydroxylated products of Sudan I oxidation were 1-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)azo]naphthalene-2,6-diol and 1-[(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)- azo]-2-naphthol. Human microsomes generated the pattern of Sudan I metabolites reproducing that formed by hepatic microsomes of rats. While microsomes of rabbit and minipig favored the production of the metabolite hydroxylated in position 6 of the naphthol ring of the Sudan I molecule, those of human and rat predominantly produced 1-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)azo]-2-naphthol. Therefore, rat microsomes are a suitable in vitro system mimicking the metabolism of Sudan I in humans. To define the role of specific cytochromes P450 in the Sudan I metabolism by rat microsomes, we investigated the modulation of Sudan I oxidation by specific inducers and selective inhibitors of these enzymes. The results suggest that cytochromes P450 1A1 and 3A are responsible for Sudan I metabolism by rat microsomes. Using purified enzymes, their ability to oxidize Sudan I was confirmed. The data clearly demonstrate the predominant role of cytochrome P450 1A1 in the Sudan I metabolism and suggest a carcinogenic potency of this rodent carcinogen for humans.

Keywords: 1-(Phenylazo)-2-naphthol; Azo compounds; Risk assessment; Metabolism; Cytochromes P450; Mechanism of action; Carcinogenesis; Mutagenesis; Toxicology.

References: 52 live references.