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Irreversible Alkylation of Human Serum Albumin by Zileuton Metabolite 2-Acetylbenzothiophene-S-oxide: A Potential Model for Hepatotoxicity

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posted on 2007-12-17, 00:00 authored by Fengping Li, Mahendra D. Chordia, Kellie A. Woodling, Timothy L. Macdonald
2-Acetylbenzothiophene-S-oxide (2-ABT-S-oxide or M1) is a reactive metabolite of zileuton, a drug used in the treatment of asthma and is capable of conjugating with glutathione in vitro. Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most abundant protein in plasma and plays a critical role in detoxifying reactive oxygen species. The current research is focused on understanding the interaction between M1 and HSA. The stability studies revealed the half-life of M1 to be about 0.85 h in HSA, 1.82 h in human plasma, and 4.48 h in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) as determined by first-order approximation. The alkylation rate constant k for HSA was 20 M−1 min−1. After quenching with acetonitrile, the half-life of M1 did not change significantly, indicating that M1 is covalently bound to HSA. LC–MS and LC–MS/MS analysis of human plasma revealed the M1 alkylated peptide P (m/z 870) formed by HSA conjugation and concomitant water elimination. The specific amino acid on HSA bound to M1 was identified as Cys-34. This alkylation is observed to be concentration- and incubation-time-dependent in human plasma. HSA oxidized by N,N′-diacetyl-l-cystine exhibits a compromised ability of HSA to react with M1. The alkylated HSA diminished the binding affinity for warfarin. Furthermore, the alkylation was found to be irreversible in the dialysis experiment. In addition, M1 decomposes to 2-ABT in the presence of HSA, presumably acting as an oxidant. The formation of 2-ABT in the incubation and the self-condensation of M1 in PBS indicate that the alkylation of Cys-34 is only one of a number of reactions that occur in the presence of HSA. Irreversible protein modification may potentially lead to a loss of its function. HSA irreversible alkylation represents a model for other proteins to be potentially toxic and thus may help explain zileuton hepatotoxicity.

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