Tumour-specific expression of CYP2W1: its potential as a drug target in cancer therapy

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Jan;11(1):61-7. doi: 10.1517/14728222.11.1.61.


Recently, a new cytochrome P450, designated CYP2W1, was identified. This enzyme is expressed in transformed tissues and during fetal life, whereas in human adult tissues only low levels of expression have been detected. CYP2W1 has been shown to metabolise arachidonic acid and benzfetamine, as well as being able to metabolically activate several procarcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon dihydrodiols, aflatoxin B1 and sterigmatocystin. The gene expression is governed by gene methylation. The selective expression in some forms of cancers and the low expression in normal tissues render CYP2W1 as a possible drug target during cancer therapy. Here, the authors review the data currently available for this enzyme and discuss its potential as a drug target.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • CYP2W1 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2