9,10-Phenanthraquinone (PQ), a component of airborne particulate matter, causes marked cellular protein oxidation and cytotoxicity through a two-electron reduction to 9,10-dihydroxyphenanthrene (PQH2), which is associated with the propagation of reactive oxygen species (K. Taguchi et al., Free Radic. Biol. Med. 43:789-799, 2007). In the present study, we explored a biotransformation pathway for the detoxification of PQ. Exposure of human pulmonary epithelial A549 cells to PQ resulted in a time-dependent appearance of an unknown metabolite in the medium that was identified as the monoglucuronide of PQH2 (PQHG). Whereas a variety of isozymes of uridine 5′-diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase (UGTs) are responsible for PQHG formation, UGT1A10 and UGT1A6 were particularly effective catalysts for glucuronide conjugation. In cell-free systems, PQ exhibited a rapid thiol oxidation and subsequent oxygen consumption in the presence of dithiothreitol, whereas PQHG did not. Unlike the parent compound, PQHG completely lost the ability to oxidize cellular proteins and cause cell death in A549 cells. In addition, deletion of the transcription factor Nrf2 decreased PQHG formation and increased PQ-mediated toxicity of mouse primary hepatocytes. Thus, we conclude that PQHG is a metabolite of PQ, generated through PQH2, that terminates its redox cycling and transports it to extracellular space.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Free Radical Biology and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2008 Apr 15|
- Free radicals
- Redox activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)