Mammary gland carcinogenesis by food-derived heterocyclic amines: Metabolism and additional factors influencing carcinogenesis by 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP)


  • Elizabeth G. Snyderwine

    Corresponding author
    1. Chemical Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Chemical Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, NCI Center for Cancer Research, Building 37, Room 3C28, 37 Convent Drive, MSC 4255, Bethesda, MD 20892
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  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.


The heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are a family of mutagenic/carcinogenic compounds found in cooked meats. Several HCAs are mammary gland carcinogens in rats. Of these compounds, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is the major one present in the human diet. This report reviews the studies on rat mammary gland carcinogenesis by HCAs; discusses what is currently known regarding mechanisms of mammary gland carcinogenesis of PhIP, especially the significance of metabolic processing; and further highlights the evidence for the possible role of PhIP in human breast cancer. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 39:165–170, 2002. Published 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.