The environmental carcinogen 5-methylchrysene (5MC) can be activated to mutagenic metabolites by several isozymes of cytochrome P-450 (CYP). The resulting reactive diol-epoxides can be detoxified via conjugation by glutathione S-transferases (GST). We investigated whether expression of human glutathione S-transferase P1 (hGSTP1) would differentially protect cells against the cytotoxicity or mutagenicity of 5MC or its 1,2-dihydrodiol intermediate (5MC-1,2-diol) in V79MZ cells with activation via stably transfected human CYP1B1 (hCYP1B1) as compared to activation by human CYP1A1 (hCYP1A1). The parent compound 5MC was only 2-fold more cytotoxic in the CYP-expressing cell lines than in the V79MZ parental cell line, while 5MC-1,2-dihydrodiol was more than 30-fold more cytotoxic in CYP-transfected cells compared to V79MZ cells. Cells co-expressing either hCYP1B1 or hCYP1A1 together with hGSTP1 were 2-fold less sensitive to 5MC or 5MC-1,2-diol cytotoxicity than their CYP-only parent lines. The 5MC was highly mutagenic with similar potency in both hCYP-transfected cell lines, while 5MC-1,2-diol was 2-fold more mutagenic in hCYP1B1-transfected cells as compared to hCYP1A1 cells. Coexpression of hGSTP1 with either hCYP reduced 5MC or 5MC-1,2-diol mutagenicity by 1.4-4.5-fold compared to the corresponding hCYP-only expressing cell lines. The greater protection against mutagenicity of 5MC is in contrast to our previous studies in which we found greater protection by hGSTP1 against cytotoxicity than mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene in cells co-expressing hCYP1A1. Protection against mutagenicity by hGSTP1 was greater with activation of either compound by hCYP1B1 than with hCYP1A1 activation. These studies show that the relative efficacy of protection by hGSTP1 against mutagenicity of 5MC or 5MC-1,2-diol is in part determined by the specific CYP pathway that catalyzes activation to the toxic or mutagenic metabolites.
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