Michael Waterman
Faculty Member
Last active: 2/12/2015

Unusual properties of the cytochrome P450 superfamily.

Lamb DC, Waterman MR
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013 368 (1612): 20120434

PMID: 23297356 · PMCID: PMC3538423 · DOI:10.1098/rstb.2012.0434

During the early years of cytochrome P450 research, a picture of conserved properties arose from studies of mammalian forms of these monooxygenases. They included the protohaem prosthetic group, the cysteine residue that coordinates to the haem iron and the reduced CO difference spectrum. Alternatively, the most variable feature of P450s was the enzymatic activities, which led to the conclusion that there are a large number of these enzymes, most of which have yet to be discovered. More recently, studies of these enzymes in other eukaryotes and in prokaryotes have led to the discovery of unexpected P450 properties. Many are variations of the original properties, whereas others are difficult to explain because of their unique nature relative to the rest of the known members of the superfamily. These novel properties expand our appreciation of the broad view of P450 structure and function, and generate curiosity concerning the evolution of P450s. In some cases, structural properties, previously not found in P450s, can lead to enzymatic activities impacting the biological function of organisms containing these enzymes; whereas, in other cases, the biological reason for the variations are not easily understood. Herein, we present particularly interesting examples in detail rather than cataloguing them all.

MeSH Terms (18)

Bacteria Binding Sites Biological Evolution Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System Electron Transport Enzyme Activation Eukaryota Heme Hydroxylation Models, Molecular Oxidation-Reduction Oxygen Phosphorylation Protein Binding Protein Processing, Post-Translational Protein Structure, Tertiary Structure-Activity Relationship Substrate Specificity

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