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The Activation of Procarcinogens by CYP1A1/1B1 and Related Chemo-Preventive Agents: A Review

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 1 ]


Yubei Li, Jiahua Cui and Jinping Jia*   Pages 21 - 54 ( 34 )


CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 are extrahepatic P450 family members involved in the metabolism of procarcinogens, such as PAHs, heterocyclic amines and halogen-containing organic compounds. CYP1A1/1B1 also participate in the metabolism of endogenous 17-β-estradiol, producing estradiol hydroquinones, which are the intermediates of carcinogenic semiquinones and quinones. CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 proteins share approximately half amino acid sequence identity but differ in crystal structures. As a result, CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 have different substrate specificity to chemical procarcinogens. This review will introduce the general molecular biology knowledge of CYP1A1/1B1 and the metabolic processes of procarcinogens regulated by these two enzymes. Over the last four decades, a variety of natural products and synthetic compounds which interact with CYP1A1/1B1 have been identified as effective chemo-preventive agents against chemical carcinogenesis. These compounds are mainly classified as indirect or direct CYP1A1/1B1 inhibitors based on their distinct mechanisms. Indirect CYP1A1/1B1 inhibitors generally impede the transcription and translation of CYP1A1/1B1 genes or interfere with the translocation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) from the cytosolic domain to the nucleus. On the other hand, direct inhibitors inhibit the catalytic activities of CYP1A1/1B1. Based on the structural features, the indirect inhibitors can be categorized into the following groups: flavonoids, alkaloids and synthetic aromatics, whereas the direct inhibitors can be categorized into flavonoids, coumarins, stilbenes, sulfur containing isothiocyanates and synthetic aromatics. This review will summarize the in vitro and in vivo activities of these chemo-preventive agents, their working mechanisms, and related SARs. This will provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of CYP1 mediated carcinogenesis and will also give great implications for the discovery of novel chemo-preventive agents in the near future.


CYP1A1, CYP1B1, procarcinogens, AHR, cancer, chemo-preventive agents, natural products, structure-activity relationships.


China-UK Low Carbon College, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai

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