Benzene metabolism (WP3891)

Homo sapiens

This pathway describes the metabolism of benzene. It is metabolised in the liver and forms several metabolites that can be toxic to the human body. Some of the metabolites are very volatile and can be found in blood and exhaled breath.


Rianne Fijten , Egon Willighagen , and Andika Tan


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Homo sapiens



Cell Type Ontology


Pathway Ontology

classic metabolic pathway phase I biotransformation pathway via cytochrome P450


Label Type Compact URI Comment
1,2-Benzoquinone Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0012133
Phenol Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000228
Catechol Metabolite pubchem.compound:289
Benzene Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001505
S-Phenylmercapturic acid Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0042011
Benzene dihydrodiol Metabolite pubchem.compound:418
Oxepine Metabolite pubchem.compound:6451477
p-benzoquinone Metabolite pubchem.compound:4650
Hydroquinone Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0002434
Benzene oxide Metabolite pubchem.compound:104944
CYP2E1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000130649
CYP2E1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000130649
NQO1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000181019
Microsomal Epoxide Hydrolase GeneProduct ncbigene:2052
MPO GeneProduct ncbigene:4353
Glutathione S-transferase GeneProduct ncbigene:2944
NQO1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000181019
MPO GeneProduct ncbigene:4353
Dihydrodioldehydrogenase Protein ncbigene:27294


  1. Evidence that humans metabolize benzene via two pathways. Rappaport SM, Kim S, Lan Q, Vermeulen R, Waidyanatha S, Zhang L, et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Jun;117(6):946–52. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia