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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 6, pp. 985-994

Cytochrome P4501A and associated mixed-function oxidase induction in fish as a biomarker for toxic carcinogenic pollutants in the aquatic environment

Emel Arinç*, Alaattin Sen and Azra Bozcaarmutlu

Joint Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, 06531 Ankara, Turkey

Abstract: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins, dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) present in polluted environment induce cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) isozyme in fish, which in turn results in a marked increased production of carcinogenic metabolites from PAHs. The induction of hepatic CYP1A in fish by certain classes of chemicals has been suggested as an early warning system, a "most sensitive biological response" for assessing environmental contamination conditions. This has implications for human fish consumption, as well as for the health status of aquatic organisms. Correlation between elevated CYP1A and altered steroid metabolism and decreased reproductive success has been pointed out. The induction of CYP1A and associated enzyme activities has now been confirmed in a number of field studies. Cases where these biomarkers have been studied in field conditions will be presented. Special emphasis will be given to field studies in which the induction of CYP1A activity, 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activities and immunochemical detection of CYP1A in leaping mullet and common sole are used as a biomarker for PAH- and/or PCB-type pollutants along the Izmir Bay on the Aegean Sea.