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Roles of alcohol and tobacco exposure in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma

Purohit, Vishnudutt, Rapaka, Rao, Kwon, Oh Sang, Song, B.J.
Life sciences 2013 v.92 no.1 pp. 3-9
liver cirrhosis, S-adenosylmethionine, hepatoma, reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, carcinogens, ingestion, alcohols, chemokines, oxidative stress, glutathione, DNA, intestines, oncogenes, gene expression regulation, endotoxins, transcription factor NF-kappa B, mutation, risk factors, natural killer cells, tobacco, liver, mutagenicity, retinoic acid
The purpose of this report is to summarize the roles of alcohol and tobacco exposure in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Chronic heavy alcohol exposure is a major risk factor for HCC, which is the most frequent type of liver cancer. Alcohol ingestion may initiate and or promote the development of HCC by: 1) acetaldehyde-DNA adduct formation; 2) cytochrome P4502E1-associated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation , lipid peroxidation, p53 mutation, and conversion of pro-carcinogens to carcinogens; 3) iron accumulation that leads to ROS generation, lipid peroxidation, p53 mutation, and initiation of inflammatory cascade via nuclear factor-KappaB (NF-kB) activation; 4) glutathione depletion leading to oxidative stress; 5) s-adenosylmethionine (SAM) depletion and associated DNA hypomethylation of oncogenes ; 6) retinoic acid depletion and resultant hepatocyte proliferation via up-regulation of activator protein-1 (AP-1); 7) initiating an inflammatory cascade through increased transfer of endotoxin from intestine to liver, Kupffer cell activation via CD14/toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4), oxidative stress, NF-kB or early growth response-1(Egr-1) activation, and generation of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines; 8) induction of liver fibrosis; and 9) decreasing the number and/or function of natural killer cells. Tobacco exposure is also a risk factor for HCC. It may contribute to the initiation and promotion of HCC due the presence of mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds as well as by causing oxidative stress due to generation of ROS and depletion of endogenous antioxidants. Simultaneous exposure to alcohol and tobacco is expected to promote the development of HCC in an additive and/or synergistic manner.