Protection against the bacterial mutagenicity of heterocyclic amines by purpurin, a natural anthraquinone pigment

Timothy H. Marczylo, Toshiko Hayatsu, Sakae Arimoto-Kobayashi, Mikio Tada, Ken Ichi Fujita, Tetsuya Kamataki, Kazuo Nakayama, Hikoya Hayatsu

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpurin (1,2,4-trihydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone) is a naturally occurring anthraquinone pigment found in species of madder root. We have found that the presence of purpurin in bacterial mutagenicity assays is responsible for a marked inhibition of mutagenicity induced by food-derived heterocyclic amines. Purpurin was found to be a better inhibitor of Trp-P-2-dependent mutagenicity than either epigallocatechin gallate or chlorophyllin both of which are well-established anti-mutagenic components of diet. Inhibition of Trp-P-2(NHOH) mutagenicity by purpurin was dependent upon pH. It was a better inhibitor in neutral than acidic conditions. Purpurin was protective against the direct mutagen Trp-P-2(NHOH) in both the presence and the absence of hepatic S9 but required pre-incubation. Finally, purpurin was responsible for the inhibition of human CYP1A2 and human NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase and a decrease in the bioactivation of Trp-P-2 by these enzymes when they were expressed in Salmonella typhimurium TA1538ARO. However, inhibition of Trp-P-2(NHOH)-dependent mutations suggests purpurin also has a direct effect on this mutagen in addition to inhibiting its formation by CYP1A2. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 1999


  • Anti-mutagenesis
  • CYP
  • Heterocyclic amine
  • Purpurin
  • Trp-P-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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