Human extrahepatic cytochromes P450: function in xenobiotic metabolism and tissue-selective chemical toxicity in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2003;43:149-73. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.43.100901.140251. Epub 2002 Jan 10.


Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in extrahepatic tissues often play a dominant role in target tissue metabolic activation of xenobiotic compounds. They may also determine drug efficacy and influence the tissue burden of foreign chemicals or bioavailability of therapeutic agents. This review focuses on xenobiotic-metabolizing CYPs of the human respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, including the lung, trachea, nasal respiratory and olfactory mucosa, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. Many CYPs are expressed in one or more of these organs, including CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, CYP2A13, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C18, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP2F1, CYP2J2, CYP2S1, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP4B1. Of particular interest are the preferential expression of certain CYPs in the respiratory tract and the regional differences in CYP expression profile in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Current research activities on the characterization of CYP expression, function, and regulation in these tissues, as well as future research needs, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System* / classification
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System* / metabolism
  • Digestive System / drug effects
  • Digestive System / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Respiratory System / drug effects
  • Respiratory System / enzymology*
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics*
  • Xenobiotics / toxicity


  • Xenobiotics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System