The effects of fluorine substitution on benzo[b]fluoranthene (B[b]F) DNA adduct formation and tumorigenicity in mouse epidermis were investigated. Fluoro derivatives studied included 1-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9- and 11-fluoroB[b]F as well as 1,9- and 6,9-difluoroB[b]F. Each compound was applied topically to mice and hydrocarbon/DNA adduct formation was assessed using the 32P-postlabelling technique. All of the fluorinated compounds bound to DNA to a lesser extent than B[b]F. Among the fluorinated compounds, the greatest binding was observed for 8-fluoroB[b]F. Lowest levels of hydrocarbon/DNA adduct formation from the fluoro derivatives were observed for 1-, 7-, 11- and 6,9-difluoroB[b]F. The tumor-initiating activities on mouse skin of 7-, 9- and 11-fluoroB[b]F were determined. All three compounds were significantly less tumorigenic than B[b]F. The results of this study are discussed with respect to possible mechanisms of metabolic activation of B[b]F.
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