Paraoxonase (PON1) and Organophosphate Toxicity

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Paraoxonase (PON1) is a high density lipoprotein-associated enzyme capable of hydrolyzing multiple substrates, including several organophosphorus (OP) insecticides and nerve agents, oxidized lipids and a number of drugs or pro-drugs. Several polymorphisms in the PON1 gene have been described, which have been shown to affect either the catalytic efficiency of hydrolysis or the expression level of the enzyme. Animal studies have shown that PON1 is an important determinant of the toxicity of certain OPs. Evidence for this was provided by cross-species comparisons, by administration of exogenous PON1 and by experiments in PON1 knockout and transgenic mice. Low PON1 plays also a role in the higher susceptibility of the young to OP toxicity. Recent findings also suggest that PON1 may modulate the toxicity resulting from exposure to mixtures of OP compounds