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    Luteolin (5,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavone) belongs to the flavone subclass of flavonoids. Luteolin and its glycosides are present in many botanical families, including edible plants, fruits, and vegetables. While the beneficial properties of luteolin have been widely studied, fewer studies have investigated its toxicity. In the present study, using human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells and our newly developed TK6-derived cell lines that each stably express a single human cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, 2B6, 2C8, 2C18, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, 3A4, 3A5, and 3A7), we systematically evaluated luteolin-induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, and the role of specific CYPs in the bioactivation of luteolin. Treatments with luteolin for 4-24 h induced cytotoxicity, apoptosis, DNA damage, and chromosome damage in a concentration-dependent manner. Subsequently, we observed that luteolin-induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, measured by the high-throughput micronucleus assay, were significantly increased in TK6 cells transduced with CYP1A1 and 1A2. In addition, key apoptosis and DNA damage biomarkers, including cleaved PARP-1, cleaved caspase-3, and phosphorylated histone 2AX (γH2A.X), were all significantly increased in the CYP1A1- and 1A2-expressing cells compared with the empty vector controls. Analysis by LC-MS/MS revealed that TK6 cells biotransformed the majority of luteolin into diosmetin, a less toxic O-methylated flavone, after 24 h; the presence of CYP1A1 and 1A2 partially reversed this process. Altogether, these results indicate that metabolism by CYP1A1 and 1A2 enhanced the toxicity of luteolin in vitro. Our results further support the utility of our TK6 cell system for identification of the specific CYPs responsible for chemical bioactivation and toxicity potential. Published by Elsevier B.V.


    Xilin Li, Xiaobo He, Si Chen, Yuan Le, Matthew S Bryant, Lei Guo, Kristine L Witt, Nan Mei. The genotoxicity potential of luteolin is enhanced by CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells. Toxicology letters. 2021 Jun 15;344:58-68

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    PMID: 33727136

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