Methyleugenol is a rodent hepatocarcinogen occurring in many herbs and spices as well as essential oils used for flavoring. Following metabolic activation by cytochromes P450 (CYPs) and sulfotransferases (SULTs), methyleugenol can form DNA adducts. Previously, we showed that DNA adduct formation by methyleugenol in mouse liver is dependent on SULT1A1 expression and that methyleugenol DNA adducts are abundant in human liver specimens. In humans, SULT1A1 activity is affected by genetic polymorphisms, including single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variations (CNVs). Here we investigated the relationship between individual methyleugenol DNA adduct levels and SULT1A1 in human liver samples. Using isotope-dilution ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, we quantified methyleugenol DNA adducts in 121 human surgical liver samples. Frequent CNVs, including deletions (f = 3.3%) and duplications (f = 36.4%) of SULT1A1, were identified using qPCR and TaqMan assays in the donors’ genomic DNA. SULT1A1 mRNA and protein levels were quantified using microarray data and Western blot analysis, respectively. Methyleugenol DNA adducts were detected in all 121 liver samples studied. Their levels varied 122-fold between individuals and were significantly correlated to both mRNA and protein levels of SULT1A1 (r s = 0.43, and r s = 0.44, respectively). Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis identified significant associations of SULT1A1 CNVs with mRNA (p = 1.7 × 10-06) and protein (p = 4.4 × 10- 10) levels as well as methyleugenol DNA adduct levels (p = 0.003). These data establish the importance of SULT1A1 genotype for hepatic methyleugenol DNA adducts in humans, and they confirm a strong impact of SULT1A1 CNVs on SULT1A1 hepatic phenotype.
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Tremmel R, Herrmann K, Engst W, Meinl W, Klein K, Glatt H, Zanger UM. Methyleugenol DNA adducts in human liver are associated with SULT1A1 copy number variations and expression levels. Arch Toxicol. 2017 Oct;91(10):3329-3339. doi: 10.1007/s00204-017-1955-4.