Induction of Benzo[α]pyrene Hydroxylase in Human Skin

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Science  28 Apr 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4033, pp. 419-420
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4033.419


Foreskins from children who were circumcised 2 to 4 days after birth contain an enzyme system that hydroxylates the carcinogen benzo[α]pyrene. When foreskin was cultured for 16 hours in the presence of 10 micromolar benz[α]anthracene, a two- to fivefold increase in activity of benzo[α]pyrene hydroxylase was obtained. An evaluation of the basal activity and inducibility of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes in human tissues may provide a means of determining the ability of different individuals to metabolize carcinogens.