Tobacco nitrosamines as culprits in disease: mechanisms reviewed
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- Yalcin, E. & de la Monte, S. J Physiol Biochem (2016) 72: 107. doi:10.1007/s13105-016-0465-9
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The link between tobacco abuse and cancer is well-established. However, emerging data indicate that toxins in tobacco smoke cause cellular injury due to enhanced toxic/metabolic effects of metabolites, disruption of intracellular signaling mechanisms, and formation of DNA, protein, and lipid adducts that impair function and promote oxidative stress and inflammation. These effects of smoking, which are largely non-carcinogenic, can be produced by tobacco-specific nitrosamines and their metabolites. These factors could account for the increased rates of neurodegeneration and insulin resistance diseases among smokers. Herein, we review nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamine metabolism, mechanisms of adduct formation, DNA damage, mutagenesis, and potential mechanisms of disease.