Selenoxidation by flavin-containing monooxygenases as a novel pathway for beta-elimination of selenocysteine Se-conjugates

M. Rooseboom, J.N.M. Commandeur, G.C. Floor, A.E. Rettie, N.P.E. Vermeulen

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Previously, it was shown that β-elimination of selenocysteine Se-conjugates by rat renal cytosol leading to pyruvate formation was not solely catalyzed by pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzymes. It was hypothesized that selenoxidation of the selenocysteine Se-conjugates, followed by syn-elimination, may be an alternative mechanism for pyruvate formation. In this study, selenoxidation of selenocysteine Se-conjugates was studied using rat liver microsomes and recombinant human oxidative enzymes. For all six selenocysteine Se-conjugates that were tested, it was found that rat liver microsomal incubations led to the formation of pyruvate, whereas the corresponding selenoxides were not observed. Microsomal pyruvate formation from Se-benzyl-L-selenocysteine (SeBC) was NADPH-dependent, but only marginally inhibited by several P450 inhibitors. Inhibition by methimazole and by heat pretreatment and stimulation by n-octylamine indicated that flavin-containing monooxygenases are mainly responsible for pyruvate formation from the selenocysteine Se-conjugates in rat liver microsomes. In the case of S-benzyl-L-cysteine, the sulfur analogue of SeBC, pyruvate formation was not observed. For this substrate, a chemically stable sulfoxide could be observed, as previously described. By using recombinantly expressed human flavin-containing monooxygenases and P450 enzymes, it was delineated that SeBC is selenoxidized by human FMOs, but not by human P450s. The k
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-34
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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