The effect of cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) in microsomal metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene (BP) was studied using liver microsomes from mature male Wistar rats induced with phenobarbital (PB), 3-methylcholanthrene (MC), Aroclor 1254 or olive oil (uninduced). In contrast to NADPH-supported metabolism, these inducers did not increase the CHP-dependent metabolism. Total BP metabolism was dependent on CHP concentration and was maximal at 0.15 mM, except for PB-induced microsomes, which had a maximum at 0.5 mM CHP. At 0.05 mM CHP, the major metabolites were phenols. However, increasing CHP concentration enhanced the formation of dihydrodiols, quinones and protein-bound BP but reduced phenol production. At and above 0.15 mM CHP, the profile of BP metabolites was essentially constant, with at least 66% quinones but no more than 10% phenols. The effect of CHP on inhibition of phenol formation and enhancement of quinone formation was reversed by preincubation of microsomes with BP or by increasing BP concentration. These results suggest that CHP-dependent metabolism of BP is selectively mediated by constitutive cytochrome P-450 isozyme(s) and that two forms of BP binding sites exist in cytochrome P-450 isozymes and are responsible for the hydroxylation of BP at C-3 and C-6.
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