N-terminal globin adducts as biomarkers for formation of butadiene derived epoxides

Chem Biol Interact. 2007 Mar 20;166(1-3):84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2006.10.005. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


The aim of this review is to summarize our recent data on butadiene (BD) derived hemoglobin adducts as biomarkers for the internal formation of the individual epoxides formed by butadiene (BD). It is well known that BD is oxidized by cytochrome P450s to several epoxides that form DNA and protein adducts. 1,2-Epoxy-3-butene (EB), 1,2;3,4-diepoxybutane (DEB) and 1,2-epoxy-3,4-butanediol (EB-diol) form N-(2-hydroxy-3-butenyl)-valine (HB-Val), N,N-(2,3-dihydroxy-1,4-butadiyl)-valine (pyr-Val) and N-(2,3,4-trihydroxybutyl)-valine (THB-Val) adducts, respectively. The analysis of HB-Val and THB-Val by the modified Edman degradation and GC-MS/MS has generated valuable insights into BD metabolism across species. In addition, a recently established method for the analysis of pyr-Val has been proven to be suitable for detection of pyr-Val in rodents exposed to BD as low as 1 ppm. These technologies have been applied to study a wide range of exposures to BD, EB, DEB, and 3-butene-1,2-diol as a precursor of EB-diol in male and female mice and rats. Altogether the data have shown that BD metabolism is species and concentration dependent, consistent with metabolism and carcinogenesis data. Mice form much more HB-Val and pyr-Val than rats, especially at low exposures. After 10 days of inhalation exposure to 3 ppm BD, mice formed 12.5-fold more pyr-Val than rats. In contrast, the amounts of THB-Val were similar in mice and rats exposed to 3 or 62.5 ppm BD. Furthermore, it appears that the formation of THB-Val is supralinear in mice and rats due to saturation of metabolic activation pathways. Gender differences in metabolism are less well established. One study with male and female rats exposed to 1000 ppm BD for 90 days demonstrated a 1.6-, 3.5- and 2.0-fold gender difference in formation of HB-Val, pyr-Val and THB-Val, respectively, with females being more efficient in epoxide formation. The analyses of BD derived protein adducts correlate well with the observed species and gender differences in BD-carcinogenesis and suggest that DEB may indeed be the most important metabolite.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Butadienes / chemistry*
  • Butadienes / toxicity
  • Epoxy Compounds / analysis*
  • Epoxy Compounds / chemistry*
  • Epoxy Compounds / toxicity
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Valine / chemistry
  • Valine / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Butadienes
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Hemoglobins
  • Valine