Metabolism and Genotoxicity of Styrene
An overview on the metabolism and genotoxicity of styrene is given in this article. The mutagenic potency of styrene has been confirmed in a number of test systems providing the metabolic activation of styrene. Styrene is converted to styrene-7,8-oxide as catalyzed by cytochrome P-450 cored enzyme complex. Styrene-7,8-oxide is mutagenic in prokaryotic and eukaryotic test systems without metabolic activation. It reacts with nucleic acid bases, especially with deoxyguanosine producing 7-alkylguanine and deoxycytidine producing N-3 alkylcytosine. Quite recently, styrene-7,8-oxide has been found to be a potent carcinogen in rats.
In human whole blood cultures, styrene is metabolized into styrene-7,8-oxide. Styrene is able to induce both SCEs and chromosomal aberrations in cultured lymphocytes. The clastogenic action of styrene can be explained by the metabolism of styrene into styrene-7,8-oxide in cultured human blood cells.
Although also an arene oxide, styrene-3,4-oxide, has been suggested in the biotransformation of styrene, the evidence so far supports the view that the vinyl group oxidation and oxirane formation plays a predominant role in the genotoxicity of styrene.
KeywordsChromosome Aberration Sister Chromatid Exchange Mandelic Acid Styrene Oxide Nucleic Acid Basis
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