Inhibitory effect of hemin, chlorophyllin and related pyrrole pigments on the mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene and its metabolites

Sakae Arimoto, Kazuko Kan-yama, Haruki Rai, Hikoya Hayatsu

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Hemin and chlorophyllin are known to inhibit strongly the mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene in the Salmonella assay. To further investigate this phenomenon, a series of these pyrrole pigments including pure samples of Cu- and Fe-chlorins were tested for their potency to inhibit the mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene and its metabolites, benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol, benzo[a]pyrene4,5-epoxide, and benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide. Hemin was the most potent amongthe pigments tested for these inhibitions. Both hemin and Cu-chlorin accelerated efficiently the degradation of benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide, and this acceleration seemed to be the predominant mechanism by which these pigments inhibit the overall mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene in Salmonella. Based on spectroscopic evidence, we speculate that a complex formation between hemin and benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide takes place and that this complexing is the cause of the accelerated degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


  • 3-OH-BP
  • 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene
  • 4,5-dihydrobenzo[a]pyrene-4,5-epoxide
  • Antimutagenicity
  • BP
  • BP(4,5)E
  • BP(7,8)D
  • BP(7,8)D(9,10)E
  • Benzo[a]pyrene
  • Benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol-9,10-epoxide
  • Chlorin
  • Chlorophyllin
  • Cu-chlorin
  • Fe-chlorin
  • Hemin
  • benzo[a]pyrene
  • benzo[a]pyrene-trans-7,8-dihydrodiol
  • benzo[a]pyrene-trans-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide (anti)
  • chlorophyllin Na lacking the central metal
  • copper chlorophyllin Na
  • iron chlorophyllin Na

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics


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