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CYP2E1 is a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes. The cytochrome P450 proteins are monooxygenases which catalyze many reactions involved in drug metabolism and synthesis of cholesterol, steroids and other lipids. This protein localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum and is induced by ethanol, the diabetic state, and starvation. The enzyme metabolizes both endogenous substrates, such as ethanol, acetone, and acetal, as well as exogenous substrates including benzene, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene glycol, and nitrosamines which are premutagens found in cigarette smoke. Due to its many substrates, this enzyme may be involved in such varied processes as gluconeogenesis, hepatic cirrhosis, diabetes, and cancer.
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