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Prout K , Smith AD , Daub GH , Zacharias DE , Glusker JP
11-Methylbenzo a Pyrene - Bay Region Distortions
Carcinogenesis. 1992 Oct;13(10) :1775-1782
PMID: ISI:A1992JU19500014   
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Substitution of a methyl group in the 11-position of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) enhances its carcinogenicity. An X-ray crystallographic determination of the three-dimensional structure of 11-methylbenzo[a]pyrene (11-MeB[a]P) shows that steric overcrowding in the bay region is relieved somewhat by distortions of the bay-region bond angles in the plane of the ring system. A comparison with the structure of 7,12- dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), which shows out-of-plane distortions to relieve such strain, shows that, in general, H ... H intramolecular interactions between neighboring rings in a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon are the primary determinants of the nature of the molecular distortions as a result of steric overcrowding (mainly in-plane for 11-MeB[a]P and mainly out-of-plane for DMBA). The 11-MeB[a]P molecule exhibits considerable flexibility as evidenced by slightly different conformations in the two molecules found in the asymmetric unit of the crystal. One molecule is fairly flat with bond angle distortions in the bay region, while the other is slightly buckled as a result of some twist (15-degrees) in the bay region. Computer modeling indicates that steric overcrowding as a result of the bay-region 11-methyl group may affect the conformation of the ring that bears the diol and epoxide groups in the anti-diolepoxide. The nature of this distortion may, in turn, provide a clue to the reason for the greater carcinogenicity of B[a]P when methylated at the 11-position in the non-benzo bay region site. In addition, the 11-methyl group, because of its bulk, may affect the orientation of the polycyclic hydrocarbon as it lies between the nucleic-acid bases when covalently bound to DNA.
English Article JU195 CARCINOGENESIS