Activation of aflatoxin B1 by expression of human CYP1A2 polymorphisms in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Michael Fasullo, Autumn Smith, Patricia Egner, Cinzia Cera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human susceptibility to environmental carcinogens is highly variable and depends on multiple genetic factors, including polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 genes. Although epidemiological studies have identified individual polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 genes that may alter cancer risk, there is often conflicting data about whether such polymorphisms alter the genotoxicity of environmental carcinogens. This is particularly true of the CYP1A2 polymorphisms that confer differential activation of multiple human carcinogens. To determine whether a single cytochrome P450 polymorphism confers higher levels of carcinogen-associated genotoxicity, we chose an organism that lack enzymes to metabolically activate aflatoxins and expressed individual human P450 genes in budding yeast. We measured the frequencies of recombination, Rad51 foci formation, 7-methoxyresorufin O-demethylase activities, and the concentrations of carcinogen-associated DNA adducts in DNA repair proficient yeast expressing P450 polymorphisms after exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1).We measured growth of rad4 rad51 cells expressing CYP1A2 polymorphisms while exposed to AFB1. We observed that there was significantly less AFB1-associated genotoxicity in yeast expressing CYP1A2 I386F, while yeast expressing CYP1A2 C406Y exhibited intermediate levels of genotoxicity compared to yeast expressing CYP1A2 D348N or wild type. We conclude that differences in carcinogen genotoxicity can be observed in yeast expressing different CYP1A2 alleles. This is the first report that carcinogen-associated P450 polymorphisms can be studied in yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxin B
  • Budding yeast
  • Cytochrome P450

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of aflatoxin B1 by expression of human CYP1A2 polymorphisms in Saccharomyces cerevisiae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this