Contamination of deconjugation enzymes derived from Helix pomatia with the plant bioactive compounds 3,3'-diindolylmethane, 5-methoxypsoralen, and 8-methoxypsoralen

Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Dec;62:188-93. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.08.055. Epub 2013 Aug 30.


Bioactive compounds from plant foods are intensely investigated for effects on disease prevention. β-Glucuronidase/arylsulfatase from Helix pomatia (snail) is commonly used when quantifying exposure to metabolized dietary components. However, we describe here the contamination of multiple formulations of this enzyme preparation with 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), and 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP), bioactives from cruciferous and apiaceous vegetables under investigation as putative cancer chemopreventive agents. We identified an Escherichia coli preparation of β-glucuronidase as free from contamination with any of the compounds tested. These results demonstrate the importance of selecting appropriate enzyme preparations when quantifying naturally occurring, trace level compounds in biological fluids.

Keywords: 3,3′-Diindolylmethane; 3,3′-diindolylmethane; 5-MOP; 5-Methoxypsoralen; 5-methoxypsoralen; 8-MOP; 8-Methoxypsoralen; 8-methoxypsoralen; CYP; DIM; Deconjugation enzymes; Dietary chemoprevention; Helix pomatia; I3C; LOQ; ND; UDP-glucuronosyltransferase; UGT; cytochrome P450; indole-3-carbinol; limit of quantitation; not detected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methoxypsoralen
  • Animals
  • Arylsulfatases / isolation & purification*
  • Drug Contamination*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Glucuronidase / genetics
  • Glucuronidase / isolation & purification*
  • Helix, Snails / enzymology*
  • Indoles / analysis*
  • Methoxsalen / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methoxsalen / analysis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification


  • Indoles
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • 5-Methoxypsoralen
  • Arylsulfatases
  • Glucuronidase
  • 3,3'-diindolylmethane
  • Methoxsalen