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Naphthalene is the simplest representative of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is detected as major pollutant in the different compartments of the environment. This compound is considered by the international agency for research on cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as a possible carcinogenic (group 2B) since 2002, mainly based on studies on chronic inhalation in rodent by the national toxicology program of the U.S. department of health and human services. In humans, its main metabolites correspond to derivatives substituted in position and 1 and 2 as 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NphQ). Based on previous studies, 1,2-NphQ is supposed to react with DNA to form mostly depurinating adducts, a possible initiating step of carcinogenicity. To confirm this potentiality, adducts were synthetized by the reaction of 1,2-NphQ with 2'-deoxyguanosine (2'-dG) in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), water and calf thymus DNA. 2'-dG adducts were analyzed by 32P post-labelling, HPLC with ultra-violet detection and ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). We found stable DNA adducts detected in DNA. We proposed a formation mechanism by a 1,4-Michael addition with 2'-dG. Adducts with 2'-deoxyxanthosine are formed after a spontaneous deamination of 2'-dG. These adducts are good candidates as biomarkers allowing evaluation of exposure to naphthalene and its derivatives in the development of pathologies such as cancer. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Adeline Clergé, Jérémie Le Goff, Claire Lopez-Piffet, Sonnich Meier, Stéphanie Lagadu, Isabelle Vaudorne, Victor Babin, Thomas Cailly, Raphaël Delépée. Investigation by mass spectrometry and 32P post-labelling of DNA adducts formation from 1,2-naphthoquinone, an oxydated metabolite of naphthalene. Chemosphere. 2021 Jan;263:128079

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PMID: 33297078

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