4-Aminobiphenyl and DNA reactivity: Case study within the context of the 2006 IPCS human relevance framework for analysis of a cancer mode of action for humans

Samuel Monroe Cohen, Alan R. Boobis, M. E. Meek, R. Julian Preston, Douglas B. McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

36 Scopus citations


The IPCS Human Relevance Framework was evaluated for a DNA-reactive (genotoxic) carcinogen, 4-aminobiphenyl, based on a wealth of data in animals and humans. The mode of action involves metabolic activation by N-hydroxylation, followed by N-esterification leading to the formation of a reactive electrophile, which binds covalently to DNA, principally to deoxyguanosine, leading to an increased rate of DNA mutations and ultimately to the development of cancer. In humans and dogs, the urinary bladder urothelium is the target organ, whereas in mice it is the bladder and liver; in other species, other tissues can be involved. Differences in organ specificity are thought to be due to differences in metabolic activation versus inactivation. Based on qualitative and quantitative considerations, the mode of action is possible in humans. Other biological processes, such as toxicity and regenerative proliferation, can significantly influence the dose response of 4-aminobiphenyl-induced tumors. Based on the IPCS Human Relevance Framework, 4-aminobiphenyl would be predicted to be a carcinogen in humans, and this is corroborated by extensive epidemiologic evidence. The IPCA Human Relevance Framework is useful in evaluating DNA-reactive carcinogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-819
Number of pages17
JournalCritical reviews in toxicology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006



  • Aromatic Animes
  • Hazard Characterization
  • Human Relevance
  • Mode of Action
  • Risk Assessment
  • Urinary Bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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