The C-S lysis of L-cysteine conjugates is one biotransformation pathway which is responsible for the generation of mutagenic and cytotoxic metabolic species. Thirteen cysteine S-conjugates were synthesized in our laboratories and incubated with aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) enzymes from porcine heart tissue. The C-S lyase (CSL) activity for each enzyme-substrate combination was determined.
ASAT and ALAT were shown to exhibit CSL activity and it was also demonstrated that this activity was inhibited in the presence of the pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzyme inhibitor amino(oxyacetic acid) confirming the pyridoxal phosphate-dependent mechanism by which C-S lysis is known to take place. This finding has potentially important implications for the risk assessment of compounds which produce L-cysteine conjugates during their biotransformation.