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Control by Substrate of the Cytochrome P450-Dependent Redox Machinery: Mechanistic Insights

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Based on initial studies with bacterial CYP101A1, a popular concept emerged predicting that substrate-induced low-to-high spin conversion of P450s is universally associated with shifts of the midpoint potential to a more positive value to maximize rates of electron transfer and metabolic turnover. However, evaluation of the plethora of observations with pro- and eukaryotic hemoproteins suggests a caveat as to generalization of this principle. Thus, some P450s are inherently high-spin, so that there is no need for a supportive substrate- triggered impulse to electron flow. With other enzymes, high-spin content is not consonant with reductive activity, and spin transition as such is not essential to sustaining substrate oxidation. Also, with certain proteins the low-spin conformer is reduced as swift as the high-spin entity. Moreover, there is not regularly a linear relationship between high-spin level and anodic shift of the reduction potential. Similarly, in given cases turnover may proceed despite insignificant or even lacking substrate-provoked alterations in the redox behaviour. Thus, folding of the disparate and sometimes conflicting data into a harmonized overall picture is a lingering problem. Apart from direct perturbation of the electrochemical properties, substrate docking may entail changes in enzyme conformation such as to favour productive complexation with redox partners or modulate electron transfer conduits within preformed donor/acceptor adducts, resulting in elevated ease of flow of reducing equivalents. Substrate-steered ordering of the oligomeric aggregation state of P450s is likely to impose steric constraints on heterodimers, causing one component to more readily align with electron carriers. Careful uncovering of electrochemical mechanisms in these systems will be fruitful to tailoring of novel bioenergetic machines and redox chains via redox-inspired protein engineering or molecular Lego, capable of generating products of interest or degrading toxic pollutants. Finally, availability of P450 nanobiochips for high-throughput screening of substrate libraries might expedite drug development.

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Keywords: Cytochrome P450; catalysis; electron transfer; redox potential; substrate binding

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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