Susceptibility to organophosphorus (OP) insecticides and nerve agents is strongly influenced by genetic and developmental factors. A number of organophosphorothioate insecticides are detoxified in part via a two-step pathway involving bioactivation of the parent compound by the cytochrome P450 systems, then hydrolysis of the resulting oxygenated metabolite (oxon) by serum and liver paraoxonases (PON1). Serum PON1 has been shown to be polymorphic in human populations. The Arg192 isoform (PON1R192) of this HDL-associated protein hydrolyzes paraoxon (POX) at a high rate, while the Gln192 isoform (PON1Q192) hydrolyzes paraoxon at a low rate. The effect of the polymorphism is reversed for the hydrolysis of diazoxon (DZO), soman and particularly sarin. Phenylacetate is hydrolyzed at approximately the same rate by both PON1 isoforms and chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) slightly faster by the PON1R192 isoform. In addition to the effect of the amino acid substitution on rates of toxicant hydrolysis, two other factors influence these rates. The expression of PON1 is developmentally regulated. Newborns have very low levels of PON1. Adult levels in rats and mice are reached at 3 weeks of age and in humans, sometime after 6 months of age. In addition, among individuals of a given genotype, there is at least a 13-fold difference in expression of PON1 that is stable over time. Dose/response experiments with normal mice injected with purified PON1 and with PON1 knockout mice have clearly demonstrated that the observed differences of in vitro rates of hydrolysis are significant in determining differential sensitivities to specific insecticides processed through the P450/PON1 pathway. Injection of purified rabbit PON1 protects mice from cholinesterase inhibition by chlorpyrifos (CPS) and CPO. Knockout mice are much more sensitive to CPO and DZO than are their PON1+/+ littermates or wild-type mice. A number of recent reports have also indicated that the PON1R192 isoform may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies with PON1 knockout mice are also consistent with a role of PON1 in preventing vascular disease.
Genetic and temporal determinants of pesticide sensitivity: role of paraoxonase (PON1) / Furlong, C. E; Li, W. F; Richter, R. J; Shih, D. M; Lusis, A. J; Alleva, E; Costa, L. G.. - In: NEUROTOXICOLOGY. - ISSN 0161-813X. - 21:1-2(2000), p. 91-100.
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