<chemistry> An indentation of three fused benzene rings. A common bay region is the site on benzo(a)pyrene, an indirect carcinogen that is metabolically activated by the p-450 system at the 7,8-double bond, leading to a 7,8-oxide, which is rapidly converted to a 7,8-dihydrodiol and later epoxidated near the bay region at the 9,10-double bond.

The resulting product, a diol-epoxide is a poor substrate for epoxide hydratase and is released from the mitochondria into the cell as a highly reactive electrophil, becoming an ultimate carcinogen, as it reacts with negative charges in DNA.

(25 Jun 1999)

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