Oxidative stress and breast cancer biomarkers: the case of the cytochrome P450 2E1

Constantinos Demonacos, Subir Singh, Ramkumar Rajendran, Kengo Kuroda, Emiko Isogai, Marija Krstic-Demonacos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of the cytochrome P450 2E1, which is the most efficient CYP450 family member in generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), on cellular energy metabolism of breast cancer cells and therefore the effects of CYP2E1 on breast carcinogenesis. Methods: The estrogen receptor positive MCF-7 and the triple negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were used as experimental system to estimate ROS generation in these cells overexpressing CYP2E1 and treated with the glycolytic inhibitors 3-bromopyruvate or 2-deoxyglucose in the presence or absence of the CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay was used to measure ATP production and lactate assay to quantify the efflux of lactic acid in breast cancer cells treated with the CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole, the mitochondrial membrane potential and cell viability assays were employed to assess the pathway of cellular energy production and cellular death respectively after treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 with the CYP2E1 activator acetaminophen or the CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole. Results: The results indicated increased ROS generation in breast cancer cells overexpressing CYP2E1. ROS generation was differentially regulated in breast cancer cells upon treatment with the CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole. Chlormethiazole treated MCF-7 cells exhibited reduced lactate efflux implying that CYP2E1 directly or indirectly regulates the glycolytic rate in these cells. Furthermore the mitochondrial membrane potential of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was differentially affected by the CYP2E1 activator acetaminophen versus the CYP2E1 inhibitor chlormethiazole providing additional support for the involvement of CYP2E1 in energy metabolic pathways in breast cancer. Conclusion: Results presented in this study provide evidence to suggest that CYP2E1 regulates cellular energy metabolism of breast cancer cells in a manner dependent on cell type and potentially on the clinical staging of the disease therefore CYP2E1 is a possible breast cancer biomarker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-276
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2016


  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Cytochrome P450 2E1
  • glycolysis
  • breast cancer


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