Author(s): Chung KT, Cerniglia CE
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Abstract Azo dyes are extensively used in textile, printing, leather, paper making, drug and food industries. Following oral exposure, azo dyes are metabolized to aromatic amines by intestinal microflora or liver azoreductases. Aromatic amines are further metabolized to genotoxic compounds by mammalian microsomal enzymes. Many of these aromatic amines are mutagenic in the Ames Salmonella/microsomal assay system. The chemical structure of many mutagenic azo dyes was reviewed, and we found that the biologically active dyes are mainly limited to those compounds containing p-phenylenediamine and benzidine moieties. It was found that for the phenylenediamine moiety, methylation or substitution of a nitro group for an amino group does not decrease mutagenicity. However, sulfonation, carboxylation, deamination, or substitution of an ethyl alcohol or an acetyl group for the hydrogen in the amino groups leads to a decrease in the mutagenic activity. For the benzidine moiety, methylation, methoxylation, halogenation or substitution of an acetyl group for hydrogen in the amino group does not affect mutagenicity, but complexation with copper ions diminishes mutagenicity. The mutagenicity of benzidine or its derivatives is also decreased when in the form of a hydrochloride salt with only one exception. Mutagenicity of azo dyes can, therefore, be predicted by these structure-activity relationships.
This article was published in Mutat Res
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography