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Pharmacol Ther. 1993 Feb-Mar;57(2-3):237-57.

P450 enzymes of estrogen metabolism.

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Strang-Cornell Cancer Research Laboratory, New York, NY 10021.


Endogenous and exogenous estrogens undergo extensive oxidative metabolism by specific cytochrome P450 enzymes. Certain drugs and xenobiotics have been found to be potent inducers of estrogen hydroxylating enzymes with C-2 hydroxylase induction being greater than that of C-16 hydroxylase. Oxygenated estrogen metabolites have different biological activities, with C-2 metabolites having limited or no activity and C-4 and C-16 metabolites having similar potency to estradiol. Pathophysiological roles for some of the oxygenated estrogen metabolites have been proposed, e.g. 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone and 4-hydroxyestrone. These reactive estrogens are capable of damaging cellular proteins and DNA and may be carcinogenic in specific cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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