5,6-trans-AA (5,6-TAA, where TAA stands for trans-arachidonic acid) is a recently identified trans fatty acid that originates from the cistrans isomerization of AA initiated by the NO2 radical. This trans fatty acid has been detected in blood circulation and we suggested that it functions as a lipid mediator of the toxic effects of NO2. To understand its role as a lipid mediator, we studied the metabolism of 5,6-TAA by liver microsomes stimulated with NADPH. Profiling of metabolites by liquid chromatography/MS revealed a complex mixture of oxidized products among which were four epoxides, their respective hydrolysis products (dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids), and several HETEs (hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids) resulting from allylic, bis-allylic and (ω−1)/(ω−2) hydroxylations. We found that the C5–C6 trans bond competed with the three cis bonds for oxidative metabolism mediated by CYP (cytochrome P450) epoxygenase and hydroxylase. This was evidenced by the detection of 5,6-trans-EET (where EET stands for epoxyeicosatrienoic acid), 5,6-erythro-dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid and an isomer of 5-HETE. A standard of 5,6-trans-EET obtained by iodolactonization of 5,6-TAA was used for the unequivocal identification of the unique microsomal epoxide in which the oxirane ring was of trans configuration. Additional lipid products originated from the metabolism involving the cis bonds and thus these metabolites had the trans C5–C6 bond. The 5,6-trans-isomers of 18- and 19-HETE were likely to be products of the CYP2E1, because a neutralizing antibody partially inhibited their formation without having an effect on the formation of the epoxides. Our study revealed a novel pathway of microsomal oxidative metabolism of a trans fatty acid in which both cis and trans bonds participated. Of particular significance is the detection of the trans-epoxide of AA, which may be involved in the metabolic activation of such trans fatty acids and probably contribute to their biological activity. Unlike its cis-isomer, 5,6-trans-EET was significantly more stable and resisted microsomal hydrolysis and conjugation with glutathione catalysed by hepatic glutathione S-transferase.

You do not currently have access to this content.