The three-dimensional structure of the product of the reaction of a diol epoxide of the carcinogen 5-methyl-chrysene with methanol has been determined by an X-ray diffraction analysis. The diol epoxide used to obtain this compound contains a stereochemically hindered bay region because of the location of the 5-methyl group, and this might be expected to affect the type of chemical reaction that occurs. The crystal structure analysis of this adduct of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) showed that a methoxy group has been added at the carbon atom of the epoxy group that is nearest to the aromatic system. The bond that is formed is axial to the ring system so that the carbon and hydrogen atoms of the methoxy group are considerably displaced from the PAH ring plane. The bay-region methyl group at position 5 is displaced out of the ring plane in the opposite direction. The major steric distortion in this methanol adduct is shown, by a comparison with crystal structures of related non-methylated compounds, to be in the area of the 5-methyl group and not in the tetrol-bearing ring. The steric effects that caused the axial conformation of the newly formed bond would also be expected to pertain in the DNA adduct of a PAH with a bay-region methyl group. Since the presence of the bay-region methyl group in 5-methyl-chrysene has been shown to enhance the carcinogenicity of this PAH over the parent compound or compounds with methyl groups in other positions of the molecule, it might be anticipated that this axial bond is found in carcinogenic lesions in DNA, and that any factor that ensures this axial conformation may accentuate the carcinogenic potential of a PAH of the appropriate size.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research