Effects of Metabolism on the Binding of Polycyclic Hydrocarbons to Nuclear Subfractions of Cultured AKR Mouse Embryo Cells

Thomas C. Spelsberg, Thomas H. Zytkovicz, Harold L. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A high-affinity localization of [3H]methylcholanthrene and/or its metabolites to a specific nuclear fraction (Fraction I) between 4 and 72 hr of exposure is described. Other carcinogenic hydrocarbons, such as benzo(a)pyrene and dibenz(a, h)anthracene, demonstrate a similar marked localization in Fraction I after 24 hr of incubation. The weak carcinogen dibenz(a, c)anthracene, as well as steroid hormones, show little localization in this fraction. Two types of binding are measured: an organic solvent-extractable (non-covalent) binding and a nonextractable (covalent) binding. Maximal levels of the combined extractable and nonextractable binding per mass DNA are found at 24 hr of exposure, while at 48 and 72 hr of exposure the binding is reduced. The highest level of the nonextractable binding per mass DNA is also observed at the 24-hr exposure period. However, as the period of exposure increases, the proportion of the total nuclear-bound radioactivity representing the non-extractable type increases. Analysis by high-pressure liquid chromatography of the extractable radioactivity from the fractions indicates that, the longer the period of exposure, the greater the extent of metabolism of 3-methylcholanthrene. When 7, 8-benzoflavone (a flavanoid hydroxylase inhibitor) is included in the incubations, practically all metabolic alterations of the parent compound are prevented. In addition, the time-dependent increase in nonextractable radioactivity from all nuclear subfractions is prevented. A metabolic-dependent “covalent” binding of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the various nuclear subtractions of chromatin is suggested. This covalent binding is markedly localized in a specific fraction of the chromatin containing rapidly labeled nascent RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1496
Number of pages7
JournalCancer research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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