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Polymorphisms in the Human Cytochrome P450 and Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase: Susceptibility to Head and Neck Cancers

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      The occurrence of head and neck cancer (HNC) is associated with smoking and alcohol drinking. Tobacco smoking exposes smokers to a series of carcinogenic chemicals. Cytochrome P450 enzymes ( CYP450s), such as CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and CYP2D6, usually metabolize carcinogens to their inactive derivatives, but they occasionally convert the chemicals to more potent carcinogens. In addition, via CYP450 ( CYP2E1) oxidase, alcohol is metabolized to acetaldehyde, a highly toxic compound, which plays an important role in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, two N-acetyltransferase isozymes ( NATs), NAT1 and NAT2, are polymorphic and catalyze both N-acetylation and O-acetylation of aromatic and heterocyclic amine carcinogens. Genetic polymorphisms are associated with a number of enzymes involved in the metabolism of carcinogens important in the induction of HNC. It has been suggested that such polymorphisms may be linked to cancer susceptibility. In this paper, we select four cytochrome P450 enzymes ( CYP1A1, CYP1BA1, CYP2D6, and CYP2E1), and two N-acetyltransferase isozymes ( NAT1 and NAT2) in order to summarize and analyze findings from the literature related to HNC risk by focusing on (i) the interaction between these genes and the environment, (ii) the impact of genetic defect on protein activity and/or expression, and (iii) the eventual involvement of race in such associations.

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      Most cited references 263

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      Tobacco carcinogens, their biomarkers and tobacco-induced cancer.

      The devastating link between tobacco products and human cancers results from a powerful alliance of two factors - nicotine and carcinogens. Without either one of these, tobacco would be just another commodity, instead of being the single greatest cause of death due to preventable cancer. Nicotine is addictive and toxic, but it is not carcinogenic. This addiction, however, causes people to use tobacco products continually, and these products contain many carcinogens. What are the mechanisms by which this deadly combination leads to 30% of cancer-related deaths in developed countries, and how can carcinogen biomarkers help to reveal these mechanisms?
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        Role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated induction of the CYP1 enzymes in environmental toxicity and cancer.

        The mammalian CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and CYP1B1 genes (encoding cytochromes P450 1A1, 1A2, and 1B1, respectively) are regulated by the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). The CYP1 enzymes are responsible for both metabolically activating and detoxifying numerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aromatic amines present in combustion products. Many substrates for CYP1 enzymes are AHR ligands. Differences in AHR affinity between inbred mouse strains reflect variations in CYP1 inducibility and clearly have been shown to be associated with differences in risk of toxicity or cancer caused by PAHs and arylamines. Variability in the human AHR affinity exists, but differences in human risk of toxicity or cancer related to AHR activation remain unproven. Mouse lines having one or another of the Cyp1 genes disrupted have shown paradoxical effects; in the test tube or in cell culture these enzymes show metabolic activation of PAHs or arylamines, whereas in the intact animal these enzymes are sometimes more important in the role of detoxification than metabolic potentiation. Intact animal data contradict pharmaceutical company policies that routinely test drugs under development; if a candidate drug shows CYP1 inducibility, further testing is generally discontinued for fear of possible toxic or carcinogenic effects. In the future, use of "humanized" mouse lines, containing a human AHR or CYP1 allele in place of the orthologous mouse gene, is one likely approach to show that the AHR and the CYP1 enzymes in human behave similarly to that in mouse.
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          Color and genomic ancestry in Brazilians.

          This work was undertaken to ascertain to what degree the physical appearance of a Brazilian individual was predictive of genomic African ancestry. Using a panel of 10 population-specific alleles, we assigned to each person an African ancestry index (AAI). The procedure was able to tell apart, with no overlaps, 20 males from northern Portugal from 20 males from São Tomé Island on the west coast of Africa. We also tested 10 Brazilian Amerindians and observed that their AAI values fell in the same range as the Europeans. Finally, we studied two different Brazilian population samples. The first consisted of 173 individuals from a rural Southeastern community, clinically classified according to their Color (white, black, or intermediate) with a multivariate evaluation based on skin pigmentation in the medial part of the arm, hair color and texture, and the shape of the nose and lips. In contrast to the clear-cut results with the African and European samples, our results showed large variances and extensive overlaps among the three Color categories. We next embarked on a study of 200 unrelated Brazilian white males who originated from cosmopolitan centers of the four major geographic regions of the country. The results showed AAI values intermediate between Europeans and Africans, even in southern Brazil, a region predominantly peopled by European immigrants. Our data suggest that in Brazil, at an individual level, color, as determined by physical evaluation, is a poor predictor of genomic African ancestry, estimated by molecular markers.

            Author and article information

            1Research Unit on Toxicology and Environment, Sfax University, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
            2Bioinformatics Unit, Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, Sfax University, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
            3Biomedical Genomics and Oncogenetics Laboratory LR11IPT05, University of Tunis El Manar, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia
            Author notes

            Academic Editor: Li Jiao

            Biomed Res Int
            Biomed Res Int
            BioMed Research International
            Hindawi Publishing Corporation
            16 September 2013
            : 2013
            24151610 3787584 10.1155/2013/582768
            Copyright © 2013 Rim Khlifi et al.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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