Mutagenic potency of some conjugated nitroaromatic compounds and its relationship to structure

Christopher A. Mullin, Kamal A. Rashid, Ralph O. Mumma

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13 Scopus citations


The mutagenicities of 12 conjugated non-fused nitroaromatic compounds and 1 amino analogue were determined in strains TA100 and TA98 of Salmonella typhimurium. Reversions by p-nitroaromatics increased in the order of the acetophenone, benzaldehyde, styrene, chalcone, cinnamic acid and stilbene indicating the importance for mutagenic potency of extended conjugation to the p-nitrophenyl substituent. Highest mutagenicity was found with α-substituted 4-nitrostyryl derivatives of which the phenyl derivative (31 revertants per nmole in TA100) was the most active. Generally, the TA100 strain was more sensitive than TA98 to these mutagens and S9 treatment was unnecessary for activity, although 4-nitrochalcone required S9 activation. Para-nitro isomers of the cinnamic acids and chalcones were much more active than the corresponding ortho and meta isomers. The 4-aminocinnamic acid analogue was inactive suggesting that complete reduction in Salmonella of 4-nitrocinnamic acid to an active amino derivative is not response for the high mutagenicity of the former. Mutagenicity of these p-nitrostyryl compounds may be explained by the covalent interaction of the electrophilic benzylic carbon with Salmonella DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics


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