Cigarette smoke induces p-benzoquinone-albumin adduct in blood serum: Implications on structure and ligand binding properties

Arunava Ghosh, Aparajita Choudhury, Archita Das, Nabendu S. Chatterjee, Tanusree Das, Rukhsana Chowdhury, Koustubh Panda, Rajat Banerjee, Indu B. Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Earlier we had reported that irrespective of the source cigarette smoke (CS) contains substantial amounts of p-benzosemiquinone, which is readily converted to p-benzoquinone (p-BQ) by disproportionation and oxidation by transition metal containing proteins. Here we show that after CS-exposure, p-BQ-protein adducts are formed in the lungs as well as serum albumin of guinea pigs. We also show that serum of human smokers contains p-BQ-albumin adduct. It is known that human serum albumin (HSA) plays a very important role in binding and transport of a variety of ligands, including fatty acids and drugs. We show in vitro that p-BQ forms covalent adducts with free amino groups of all twenty amino acids as well as e{open}-amino groups of lysine residues of HSA in a concentration dependent manner. When HSA is incubated with p-BQ in the molar ratio of 1:1, the number of p-BQ incorporated is 1. At the molar ratio of 1:60, the number of p-BQ incorporated is 40. The formation of HSA-p-BQ adduct has been demonstrated by absorption spectroscopy, MALDI-MS and MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS analyses. Upon complexation with p-BQ, the secondary structure and conformation of HSA are altered, as evidenced by steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, circular dichroism, 8-anilino-1-napthalenesulfonic acid binding and differential scanning calorimetry. Alteration of the structure and conformation of HSA results in impairment of its ligand binding properties with respect to myristic acid, quercitin and paracetamol. This might be one of the reasons why transport and distribution of lipids and drugs are impaired in smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 26 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Human serum albumin
  • Ligand binding
  • P-Benzoquinone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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