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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 582790, 19 pages
Review Article

CYP2E1 Sensitizes the Liver to LPS- and TNF α-Induced Toxicity via Elevated Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress and Activation of ASK-1 and JNK Mitogen-Activated Kinases

Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, P.O. Box 1603, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA

Received 17 May 2011; Revised 10 August 2011; Accepted 10 August 2011

Academic Editor: Kusum Kharbanda

Copyright © 2012 Arthur I. Cederbaum et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The mechanisms by which alcohol causes cell injury are not clear. A major mechanism is the role of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in alcohol toxicity. Many pathways have been suggested to play a role in how alcohol induces oxidative stress. Considerable attention has been given to alcohol elevated production of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and TNFα and to alcohol induction of CYP2E1. These two pathways are not exclusive of each other; however, interactions between them, have not been extensively evaluated. Increased oxidative stress from induction of CYP2E1 sensitizes hepatocytes to LPS and TNFα toxicity and oxidants, activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase and p38 and JNK MAP kinases, and mitochondrial dysfunction are downstream mediators of this CYP2E1-LPS/TNFα-potentiated hepatotoxicity. This paper will summarize studies showing potentiated interactions between these two risk factors in promoting liver injury and the mechanisms involved including activation of the mitogen-activated kinase kinase kinase ASK-1. Decreasing either cytosolic or mitochondrial thioredoxin in HepG2 cells expressing CYP2E1 causes loss of cell viability and elevated oxidative stress via an ASK-1/JNK-dependent mechanism. We hypothesize that similar interactions occur as a result of ethanol induction of CYP2E1 and TNFα.