CBDP [2-(2-cresyl)-4H-1-3-2-benzodioxaphosphorin-2-oxide] is a toxic organophosphorus compound. It is generated in vivo from tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate (TOCP), a component of jet engine oil and hydraulic fluids. Exposure to TOCP was proven to occur on board aircraft by finding CBDP-derived phospho-butyrylcholinesterase in the blood of passengers. Adducts on BChE, however, do not explain the toxicity of CBDP. Critical target proteins of CBDP are yet to be identified. Our goal was to facilitate the search for the critical targets of CBDP by determining the range of amino acid residues capable of reacting with CBDP and characterizing the types of adducts formed. We used human albumin as a model protein. Mass spectral analysis of the tryptic digest of CBDP-treated human albumin revealed adducts on His-67, His-146, His-242, His-247, His-338, Tyr-138, Tyr-140, Lys-199, Lys-351, Lys-414, Lys-432, and Lys-525. Adducts formed on tyrosine residues were different from those formed on histidines and lysines. Tyrosines were organophosphorylated by CBDP, while histidine and lysine residues were alkylated. This is the first report of an organophosphorus compound with both phosphorylating and alkylating properties. The o-hydroxybenzyl adduct on histidine is novel. The ability of CBDP to form stable adducts on histidine, tyrosine, and lysine allows one to consider new mechanisms of toxicity from TOCP exposure.
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