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Spectrochemical Behavior of Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Biological Systems. Part II: A Theoretical Rate Model for BaP Metabolism in Living Cells

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An idealized model for the kinetics of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) metabolism is established. As observed from experimental results, the BaP transfer from microcrystals to the cell membrane is definitely a first-order process. The rate constant of this process is signified as k 1. We describe the surface-midplane exchange as reversible and use rate constants k 2 and k 3 to describe the inward and outward diffusions, respectively. The metabolism is identified as an irreversible reaction with a rate constant k 4. If k 2 and k 3 are assumed to be fast and not rate determining, the effect of the metabolism rate, k 4, on the number density of BaP in the midplane of the microsomal membrane, m 3, can be estimated. If the metabolism rate is faster than or comparable to the distribution rates, k 2 and k 3, the BaP concentration in the membrane midplane, m 3, will quickly be dissipated. But if k 4 is extremely small, m 3 will reach a plateau. Under conditions when k 2 and k 3 also play significant roles in determining the overall rate, more complicated patterns of m 3 are expected.

Keywords: Benzo[a]pyrene; Living cells; Metabolism; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854 2: Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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