Uridine 5′-diphosphoglucuronic acid-fortified hepatic microsomes from dogs, rats, or humans rapidly metabolized [3H]-N-hydroxy-2-naphthylamine (N-HO-2-NA) to a water-soluble product that yielded 98% of the parent N-hydroxy amine upon treatment with β-glucuronidase. The metabolite was identified as N-(β-1-glucosiduronyl)-N-hydroxy-2-naphthylamine from ultraviolet, infrared, and mass spectral analyses of the glucuronide and its nitrone derivative. Incubation of N-hydroxy-1-naphthylamine (N-HO-1-NA), N-hydroxy-4-aminobiphenyl (N-HO-ABP), or the N-hydroxy derivatives of 2-aminofluorene, 4-aminoazobenzene, or N-acetyl-2-aminofluorene with uridine 5′-diphosphoglucuronic acid-fortified hepatic microsomes also yielded water-soluble products. β-Glucuronidase treatment released 80 to 90% of the [3H]-N-HO-1-NA and [3H]-N-HO-ABP conjugates as tritiated ether-extractable derivatives. N-HO-1-NA, N-HO-2-NA, and N-HO-ABP and the glucuronides of these N-hydroxy arylamines were relatively stable and nonreactive near neutral pH. At pH 5, the N-glucuronide of N-HO-2-NA and the presumed N-glucuronides of N-HO-1-NA and N-HO-ABP were rapidly hydrolyzed to the N-hydroxy arylamines that were then converted to reactive derivatives capable of binding covalently to nucleic acids.

These data support the concept that arylamine bladder carcinogens are N-oxidized and N-glucuronidated in the liver and that the N-glucuronides are transported to the urinary bladder. The hydrolysis of the glucuronides to N-hydroxy arylamines and the conversion of the latter derivatives to highly reactive electrophilic arylnitrenium ions in the normally acidic urine of dogs and humans may be critical reactions for tumor induction in the urinary bladder.

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This research was supported in part by funds from USPHS Grants CA-07175, CA-15785, and 5-T32-CA-09020.

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