Mutagens and Carcinogens Formed During Cooking

  • John H. Weisburger
  • Takuji Tanaka
  • William S. Barnes
  • Gary M. Williams
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 197)


In the late 1970s, Sugimura et al. (1977; 1983; 1986) noted that powerful mutagens were produced during flame or charcoal broiling of fish or meat. This observation started a new field of research in nutritional carcinogenesis. The mutagens were eventually identified as heterocyclic aromatic compounds with an exocyclic amino group and often an ortho-methyl group. The structure of the food mutagen 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]-quinoline (IQ) (I) mimicks that of the synthetic chemical 3,2’-dimethyl-4aminobiphenyl (DMAB) (II), a carcinogen for the colon, breast, and prostate (Figure 1). IQ contains both the quinoline ring system and the primary amine with an ortho-methyl substituent, which characterizes DMAB. Recent tests (Sugimura, 1985) show that the mutagens in this newly discovered class of mutagens, including IQ itself along with other IQ-type compounds, are potent carcinogens and deserve consideration as candidates for the genotoxic carcinogens implicated as the possible causative factors of the nutritionally-linked cancers (Weisburger and Horn, 1982). The key elements underlying this area will be described.


Mammary Gland Heterocyclic Amine Genotoxic Carcinogen Heterocyclic Aromatic Compound Islet Cell Adenoma 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Weisburger
    • 1
  • Takuji Tanaka
    • 1
  • William S. Barnes
    • 2
  • Gary M. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Naylor Dana InstituteAmerican Health FoundationValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Clarion Univ. of Penn. ClarionUSA

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