Naphthalene undergoes biotransformation by a variety of enzymes to yield 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ), a reactive metabolite that binds covalently to proteins. Because this covalent modification is thought to account for naphthalene toxicity, a procedure to detect 1,2-NQ bound to macromolecules is required. In this study, we prepared a polyclonal antibody against 1,2-NQ and examined the specificities of the antibody for various aromatic structures and for the regiochemistry of the quinone functionality. Western blot analysis revealed that the antibody prepared against 1,2-NQ recognized the naphthalene moiety with the ortho-dicarbonyl group, but not with the para-dicarbonyl group; in addition, little cross-reactivity of ortho-quinones with different numbers of aromatic rings (n = 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) was seen. Dot blot and Western blot analyses with the polyclonal antibody enabled quantitative determination of the formation of protein-bound 1,2-NQ during the metabolic activation of naphthalene. The present method can be expected to applicable for the identification of the molecular targets of 1,2-NQ derived from naphthalene in cells and tissues.
2010 The Japanese Society of Toxicology