Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP, 3,4-Benzopyrene, 3,4-Benzpyrene, Benzo[def]chrysene) is a procarcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) found in coal tar and other byproducts from the combustion of organic material. It is metabolized by cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) to benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide which is carcinogenic. This metabolite intercalates DNA thus disrupting DNA copying and inducing mutations. Benzo[a]pyrene is used as a chemical carcinogen in cancer models.
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