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Spectrochemical Behavior of Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Biological Systems. Part II: A Theoretical Rate Model for BaP Metabolism in Living Cells

Volume 50, Number 11 (Nov. 1996) Page 1352-1359

Chiang, Ping; Li, Kuang-Pang; Hseu, Tong-Ming


An idealized model for the kinetics of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) metabolism is established. As observed from experimental results, the BaP transfer from microcrystals to the cell membrane is definitely a first-order process. The rate constant of this process is signified as k1. We describe the surface-midplane exchange as reversible and use rate constants k2 and k3 to describe the inward and outward diffusions, respectively. The metabolism is identified as an irreversible reaction with a rate constant k4. If k2 and k3 are assumed to be fast and not rate determining, the effect of the metabolism rate, k4, on the number density of BaP in the midplane of the microsomal membrane, m3, can be estimated. If the metabolism rate is faster than or comparable to the distribution rates, k2 and k3, the BaP concentration in the membrane midplane, m3, will quickly be dissipated. But if k4 is extremely small, m3 will reach a plateau. Under conditions when k2 and k3 also play significant roles in determining the overall rate, more complicated patterns of m3 are expected.