Exposure to benzene metabolites causes oxidative damage in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2016 Jun; 109(6):841-54.AV
Hydroquinone (HQ) and benzoquinone (BQ) are known benzene metabolites that form reactive intermediates such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study attempts to understand the effect of benzene metabolites (HQ and BQ) on the antioxidant status, cell morphology, ROS levels and lipid alterations in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. There was a reduction in the growth pattern of wild-type cells exposed to HQ/BQ. Exposure of yeast cells to benzene metabolites increased the activity of the anti-oxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase but lead to a decrease in ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione. Increased triglyceride level and decreased phospholipid levels were observed with exposure to HQ and BQ. These results suggest that the enzymatic antioxidants were increased and are involved in the protection against macromolecular damage during oxidative stress; presumptively, these enzymes are essential for scavenging the pro-oxidant effects of benzene metabolites.