Dicoumarol-sensitive glucuronidation of benzo(a)pyrene metabolites in rat liver microsomes

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1986 Nov 15;251(1):266-75. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(86)90074-3.


The effect of dicoumarol on glucuronidation of 3-OH-benzo(a)pyrene (BP) appears to be due to inhibition of UDPglucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT) and not to an inhibited DT-diaphorase (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase); to date the only enzyme known to be inhibited by dicoumarol. This dicoumarol-sensitive form of UDPGT does not seem to be identical to the major form catalyzing the glucuronidation of p-nitrophenol or methylumbelliferone, nor to the isozyme involved in the formation of phenolphthalein glucuronides. These conclusions are based on the following observations: In solubilized microsomes, devoid of DT-diaphorase, a 3-OH-BP glucuronidation activity is found which is very similar to that observed in microsomes before passing through an azodicoumarol Sepharose 6B column that binds more than 98% of DT-diaphorase; in the eluate from this column the inhibition by dicoumarol of 3-OH-BP glucuronidation is the same as in microsomes containing DT-diaphorase; other coumarin derivatives, which are either modified or substituted in the methylene bridge between the two coumarin entities in dicoumarol, are potent inhibitors of DT-diaphorase but not of UDPGT; a concentration of 10(-6) M dicoumarol is sufficient to inhibit 3-OH-BP glucuronidation 50%. In contrast, to inhibit glucuronidation of p-nitrophenol or methylumbelliferone the concentration of dicoumarol must be raised to the substrate level: i.e., 10(-4) M. Phenolphthalein glucuronidation is almost unaffected even by this high concentration of dicoumarol. The present investigation also reveals that DT-diaphorase and NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase can both catalyze the reduction of BP-3,6-quinone for the formation of BP-3,6-quinol glucuronides. In the eluate from the azodicoumarol Sepharose 6B column, no NADH-supported glucuronidation of BP-3,6-quinone can be detected unless DT-diaphorase is added. However, NADPH-supported formation of BP-3,6-quinol glucuronides can still be observed. The rate of the latter reaction is sufficient enough to allow studies on the effect of dicoumarol on BP-3,6-quinone glucuronidation. These results show that glucuronidation of BP-3,6-quinols is also catalyzed by a dicoumarol-sensitive UDPGT. However, not only is the formation of BP-3,6-quinol monoglucuronides inhibited by dicoumarol, but the conversion of monoglucuronides to diglucuronides is inhibited as well. The former reaction is inhibited 50% by 3.5 X 10(-6) M dicoumarol (close to the I50 for 3-OH-BP glucuronidation), whereas 10 times less dicoumarol (2 X 10(-7) M) is sufficient for 50% inhibition of the latter reaction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzopyrenes / metabolism*
  • Coumarins / pharmacology
  • Dicumarol / pharmacology*
  • Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Benzopyrenes
  • Coumarins
  • Dicumarol
  • Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase
  • Glucuronosyltransferase