Biotransformation of 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) by human liver microsomes : identification of cytochrome P450 2B6 as the major enzyme involvedBiotransformation of 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) by human liver microsomes : identification of cytochrome P450 2B6 as the major enzyme involved
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Research group
Toxicological Centre
Publication type
Washington, D.C.,
Pharmacology. Therapy
Source (journal)
Chemical research in toxicology / American Chemical Society. - Washington, D.C.
26(2013):5, p. 721-731
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were widely used flame retardants that have become persistent environmental pollutants. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro oxidative metabolism of 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), a major PBDE detected in human tissue and environmental samples. Biotransformation of BDE-47 by pooled and individual human liver microsomes and by human recombinant cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes was assessed using a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry-based method. Of the nine hydroxylated metabolites of BDE-47 produced by human liver microsomes, seven metabolites were identified using authentic standards. A monohydroxy-tetrabrominated and a dihydroxy-tetrabrominated metabolite remain unidentified. Kinetic analysis of the rates of metabolite formation revealed that the major metabolites were 5-hydroxy-2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (5-OH-BDE-47), 6-hydroxy-2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (6-OH-BDE-47), and possibly the unidentified monohydroxy-tetrabrominated metabolite. Among the human recombinant P450 enzymes tested, P450 2B6 was the most active enzyme in the formation of the hydroxylated metabolites of BDE-47. Moreover, the formation of all metabolites of BDE-47 by pooled human liver microsomes was inhibited by a P450 2B6-specific antibody and was highly correlated with P450 2B6-mediated activity in single donor liver microsomes indicating that P450 2B6 was the major P450 responsible for the biotransformation of BDE-47. Additional experiments involving the incubation of liver microsomes with individual monohydroxy-tetrabrominated metabolites in place of BDE-47 demonstrated that 2,4-dibromophenol was a product of BDE-47 and several primary metabolites, but the dihydroxy-tetrabrominated metabolite was not formed by sequential hydroxylation of any of the monohydroxy-tetrabrominated metabolites tested. The present study provides a comprehensive characterization of the oxidative metabolism of BDE-47 by human liver microsomes and P450 2B6.