Inflammatory mediators accelerate metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene in rat alveolar type II cells: the role of enhanced cytochrome P450 1B1 expression.
Lung cancer is strongly associated with exogenous risk factors, in particular tobacco smoking and asbestos exposure. New research data are accumulating about the regulation of the metabolism of tobacco carcinogens and the metabolic response to oxidative stress. These data provide mechanistic details about why well known risk factors cause lung cancer. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the present knowledge of the role of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in the metabolism of tobacco carcinogens and associations with tobacco and asbestos carcinogenesis. Major emphasis is placed on human data and regulatory pathways involved in CYP regulation and lung carcinogenesis. The most exciting new research findings concern cross-talk of the CYP-regulating aryl hydrocarbon receptor with other transcription factors, such as nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2, involved in the regulation of xenobiotic metabolism and antioxidant enzymes. This cross-talk between transcription factors may provide mechanistic evidence for clinically relevant issues, such as differences in lung cancers between men and women and the synergism between tobacco and asbestos as lung carcinogens.