QSARs in prooxidant mammalian cell cytotoxicity of nitroaromatic compounds: the roles of compound lipophilicity and cytochrome P-450- and DT-diaphorase-catalyzed reactions

  • Aušra Nemeikaitė-Čėnienė
  • Jonas Šarlauskas
  • Violeta Jonušienė
  • Lina Misevičienė
  • Audronė Marozienė
  • Aliaksei V. Yantsevich
  • Narimantas Čėnas
Keywords: nitroaromatic compounds, cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, cytochrome P-450, DT-diaphorase


Frequently, the aerobic mammalian cell cytotoxicity of nitroaromatic compounds (ArNO2) increases with their single-electron reduction potential (E17), thus reflecting the relationship between their enzymatic single-electron reduction rate and E17. This shows that the main factor of ArNO2 cytotoxicity is redox cycling and oxidative stress. In this work, we found that the reactivity of a series of nitrobenzenes, nitrofurans and nitrothiophenes towards single-electron transferring NADPH:cytochrome P-450 reductase and adrenodoxin reductase/adrenodoxin increases with their E17. However, their cytotoxicity in mouse hepatoma MH22a and human colon carcinoma HCT-116 cells exhibited a poorly expressed dependence on E17. The correlations were significantly improved after the introduction of compound octanol/water distribution coefficient at pH 7.0 (log D) as a second variable. This shows that the lipophilicity of ArNO2 enhances their cytotoxicity. The inhibitors of cytochromes P-450, α-naphthoflavone, isoniazid and miconazole, and an inhibitor of DT-diaphorase, dicoumarol, in most cases decreased the cytotoxicity of several randomly chosen compounds. This shows that the observed cytotoxicity vs E17 relationships in fact reflect the superposition of several cytotoxicity mechanisms.
Organic Chemistry