The ability of enteric bacteria to catalyze the covalent binding of bile acids and cholesterol to DNA and their inability to metabolize benzo(a)pyrene to a binding product and to known metabolites

P. K. Zachariah, T. J. Slaga, D. L. Berry, W. M. Bracken, S. G. Buty, C. M. Martinsen, M. R. Juchau

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The capacity of enteric bacteria (E. coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Shigella and Klebsiella) to catalyze the covalent binding of benzo(a)pyrene (BP), cholic acid, deoxycholic acid and cholesterol was investigated. In general, these bacteria were incapable of activating BP to a covalently bound product with calf thymus DNA. Metabolism studies of BP by fluorometric assay failed to indicate any accumulation of BP-3-hydroxy in the incubation medium. Detailed metabolic investigation with high-pressure liquid chromatography indicated that these bacteria did not produce any known metabolites which are formed by mammalian systems. However, radioactivity was detected in all fractions, suggesting that the bacteria were readily metabolizing BP into smaller molecules for energy and carbon sources. Although the enteric bacteria did not metabolize BP into known metabolites, some were capable of activating cholesterol, cholic acid and deoxycholic acid to covalently bound products with DNA. The binding data with cholesterol and bile acids also suggested that the binding process required NADPH as a cofactor because binding level was rather low without NADPH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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