Endogenous xenobiotic enzyme levels in mammalian cells

Douglas B. McGregor, Ian Edwards, C. Roland Wolf, Lesley M. Forrester, William J. Caspary (Lead / Corresponding author)

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54 Citations (Scopus)


The response of mammalian cell lines to chemicals depends, in part, on the exogenous activation system used for the induction of a biological response. This could be attributed to differences in the expression of enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism. We have measured the activities of benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase, dimethylaminoazobenzene N-demethylase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase in human lymphoblast TK6, mouse lymphoma L5178Y, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and lung (V79) and mouse C3H10T1/2 cell lines as well as in primary hepatocytes and S9 preparations of liver from male F344 rats. Nitroreductase was also measured in some of these preparations. Human lymphoblast TK6 and mouse C3H10T1/2 cells had the capacity to metabolize dimethylaminoazobenzene and the latter cell line also metabolized benzo[a]pyrene, indicating the presence of constitutive mono-oxygenase activity. Cytochrome P450 could not be detected spectrophotometrically in the cell lines. Western blot analysis indicated that P450 from the P450IIA family is expressed in C3H10T1/2 cells. Reactivity was also observed with an antibody to P450IA2; however, the identity of this protein remains uncertain. Superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase, which protect cells against oxygen radical damage, were found in all the cell lines and in rat hepatocytes and S9. The human lymphoblast TK6 cell line, however, had the least of each of these three enzymes. Glutathione-S-transferase activity was detected at varying levels in all cell types. Nitroreductase activity was high in S9 and Chinese hamster ovary cells and lower in mouse lymphoma and Chinese hamster V79 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1991


  • endogenous xenobiotic
  • Enzyme levels
  • enzymes involved in
  • Glutathione-S-transferase
  • Mammalian cells
  • response to chemicals
  • Xenobiotic metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics


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