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Arsenic is well-recognized as one of the most hazardous elements which is characterized by its omnipresence throughout the environment in various chemical forms. From the simple inorganic arsenite (iAsIII) and arsenate (iAsV) molecules, a multitude of more complex organic species are biologically produced through a process of metabolic transformation with biomethylation being the core of this process. Because of their differential toxicity, speciation of arsenic-based compounds is necessary for assessing health risks posed by exposure to individual species or co-exposure to several species. In this regard, exposure assessment is another pivotal factor that includes identification of the potential sources as well as routes of exposure. Identification of arsenic impact on different physiological organ systems, through understanding its behavior in the human body that leads to homeostatic derangements, is the key for developing strategies to mitigate its toxicity. Metabolic machinery is one of the sophisticated body systems targeted by arsenic. The prominent role of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) in the metabolism of both endobiotics and xenobiotics necessitates paying a great deal of attention to the possible effects of arsenic compounds on this superfamily of enzymes. Here we highlight the toxicologically relevant arsenic species with a detailed description of the different environmental sources as well as the possible routes of human exposure to these species. We also summarize the reported findings of experimental investigations evaluating the influence of various arsenicals on different members of CYP superfamily using human-based models.
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