DT-diaphorase: possible roles in cancer chemotherapy and carcinogenesis

Oncol Res. 1997;9(6-7):339-49.


DT-diaphorase [also called NAD(P)H:menadione oxidoreductase; NAD(P)H:(quinone acceptor) oxidoreductase; quinone reductase, azo-dye reductase] (EC. has been shown to have a role in activation of quinone-containing cancer chemotherapeutic prodrugs to their active form, as well as inactivation of a variety of xenobiotics involved in carcinogenesis. To illustrate the basis of this dichotomy, a brief review of the historical and recent background of studies on DT-diaphorase is given. Recent data from the laboratory of the authors on the nature of the protein coded for by a recently identified human polymorphism, a C to T transition at nucleotide 609 of DT-diaphorase cDNA, and the frequency of this mutation in anal canal carcinoma patients is presented. Finally, a series of questions about the role of DT-diaphorase in both normal and malignant cells is raised based on the results of others that have been published in the last 2-3 years.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)