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Interactions of ingested food, beverage, and tobacco components involving human cytochrome P4501A2, 2A6, 2E1, and 3A4 enzymes.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


Human cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes are involved in the oxidation of natural products found in foods, beverages, and tobacco products and their catalytic activities can also be modulated by components of the materials. The microsomal activation of aflatoxin B1 to the exo-8,9-epoxide is stimulated by flavone and 7,8-benzoflavone, and attenuated by the flavonoid naringenin, a major component of grapefruit. P4502E1 has been demonstrated to play a potentially major role in the activation of a number of very low-molecular weight cancer suspects, including ethyl carbamate (urethan), which is present in alcoholic beverages and particularly stone brandies. The enzyme (P4502E1) is also known to be inducible by ethanol. Tobacco contains a large number of potential carcinogens. In human liver microsomes a significant role for P4501A2 can be demonstrated in the activation of cigarette smoke condensate. Some of the genotoxicity may be due to arylamines. P4501A2 is also inhibited by components of crude cigarette smoke condensate. The tobacco-specific nitrosamines are activated by a number of P450 enzymes. Of those known to be present in human liver, P4501A2, 2A6, and 2E1 can activate these nitrosamines to genotoxic products.

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