Oxidation of the carcinogens benzo [a] pyrene and benzo [a] anthracene to dihydrodiols by a bacterium

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Science  25 Jul 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4199, pp. 295-297
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145203


A mutant strain of Beijerinckia, after growth with succinate plus biphenyl, contains an enzyme system that oxidizes benzo [a] pyrene and benzo [a] anthracene to mixtures of vicinal dihydrodiols. The major dihydrodiol formed from benzo [a] pyrene was identified as cis-9, 10-dihydroxy-9, 10-dihydrobenzo [a] pyrene by comparison with a synthetic sample. Benzo [a] anthracene was metabolized to four dihydrodiols, the major isomer being cis-1, 2-dihydroxy-1, 2-dihydroxy-1, 2-dihydrobenzo [a] anthracene.