Metabolic Conversion of 12-0-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in Adult and Newborn Mouse Skin and Mouse Liver Microsomes

David L. Berry, William M. Bracken, Susan M. Fischer, Aurora Viaje, Thomas J. Slaga

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20 Scopus citations


Tritiated 12-O-tetradecanoylphorboM 3-acetate (TPA) was applied to adult mouse skin; at specified time intervals the mice were killed, and the labeled phorbol was extracted and subjected to separation and quantitation by high-pressure liquid chromatography. After 24 hr, TPA comprised >96% of the recovered label from the skin, and its apparent half-life was 17.8 hr. Pretreatment of adult skin with TPA for 4 weeks before treatment with labeled TPA resulted in an increase in the clearance rate of TPA from the skin. Skin from newborn mice was capable of converting TPA into monoesters and phorbol, but the clearance rate in the adult was about 12 times more rapid than it was in the newborn. Epidermal homogenates converted TPA into 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol, phorbol-13-acetate, and phorbol. Hepatic homogenates were able to convert TPA to monoesters and phorbol at rates 14 to 15 times faster than were epidermal homogenates. Attempts to isolate any previously undescribed metabolites of TPA by use of liver homogenates were unsuccessful, and mixed-function oxidation did not contribute to the metabolism of TPA. From inhibitor studies it was judged that esterases were implicated in the conversion of TPA to monoesters and phorbol. The results support the hypothesis that the tumor-promoting activity of TPA is directly related to its concentration in a specific tissue and that conversion of TPA to an active metabolite probably does not occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2301-2306
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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