Dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and 2,4-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIBOA), two naturally occurring benzoxazinones contained in sprouts of Gramineae are potent aneugens in human-derived liver cells (HepG2).
Cancer Lett. 2006 Apr 24; [Epub ahead of print] Buchmann CA, Nersesyan A, Kopp B, Schauberger D, Darroudi F, Grummt T, Krupitza G, Kundi M, Schulte-Hermann R, Knasmueller S.
Division Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Benzoxazinoids (BAs) are toxic constituents of sprouts of Gramineae such as wheat, maize and rye and are part of the plant defence system against pests. In the last years, sprouts have been increasingly consumed as health foods and are also used for the production of dietary supplements. In the present study we investigated the mutagenic activities of the two most abundant BAs, namely 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and 2,4-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIBOA) in the Salmonella/microsome assay and additionally, in micronucleus (MN) assay and single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay in a human-derived liver cell line (HepG2). DIBOA caused significant induction of his(+) revertants in all three strains in the range between 0.02 and 0.50mg/plate; the highest activity was observed in TA100 (fivefold increase over the background at the highest dose level). The effect in YG1024 (a derivative of TA98 with increased acetyltransferase activity) was only slightly higher than the effect in the parental strain indicating that acetylation plays no crucial role in the activation of this BA. DIMBOA was in general less active and a positive result was only seen in the base substitution strain (TA100). Addition of rat liver homogenate (S9-mix) led to a significant (ca. twofold) increase of the mutagenic activities of both BAs. In SCGE assays with HepG2 cells consistently negative results were obtained with both compounds whereas in MN assays significant dose dependent effects were observed under similar experimental conditions. DIMBOA caused significant effects already at concentrations >/=1muM; at the highest dose (20muM) the MN frequency was sevenfold higher than the background level. DIBOA caused weaker effects and was positive at doses >/=2.5muM, the maximal induction (twofold over background) was observed with 20muM. Overall, DIMBOA was ca. 30-fold more active as DIBOA. Subsequent experiments with pancentromeric probes showed that >80% of the MN induced at the highest doses gave a centromere positive signal indicating that both BAs are aneugenic. This is an interesting observation as it is assumed that aneuploidy is a key event in cancer induction and at present no other aneugenic plant-derived substances of dietary relevance are known.