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Concept: Cytochrome P450 reductase


Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR) is known as the sole electron donor in the metabolism of drugs by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in human. However, little is known about the effect of polymorphic variants of POR on drug metabolic activities of CYP3A4 and CYP2B6. In order to better understand the mechanism of the activity of CYPs affected by polymorphic variants of POR, six full-length mutants of POR (e.g., Y181D, A287P, K49N, A115V, S244C and G413S) were designed and then co-expressed with CYP3A4 and CYP2B6 in the baculovirus-Sf9 insect cells to determine their kinetic parameters. Surprisingly, both mutants, Y181D and A287P in POR completely inhibited the CYP3A4 activity with testosterone, while the catalytic activity of CYP2B6 with bupropion was reduced to approximately ~70% of wild-type activity by Y181D and A287P mutations. In addition, the mutant K49N of POR increased the CLint (Vmax/Km) of CYP3A4 up to more than 31% of wild-type, while it reduced the catalytic efficiency of CYP2B6 to 74% of wild-type. Moreover, CLint values of CYP3A4-POR (A115V, G413S) were increased up to 36% and 65% of wild-type respectively. However, there were no appreciable effects observed by the remaining two mutants of POR (i.e., A115V and G413S) on activities of CYP2B6. In conclusion, the extent to which the catalytic activities of CYP were altered did not only depend on the specific POR mutations but also on the isoforms of different CYP redox partners. Thereby, we proposed that the POR-mutant patients should be carefully monitored for the activity of CYP3A4 and CYP2B6 on the prescribed medication.

Concepts: Metabolism, Enzyme, Electrochemistry, Catalysis, Nitrogen, Cytochrome P450, P450-containing systems, Cytochrome P450 reductase


We have previously described the development of genetic models to study the in vivo functions of the hepatic cytochrome P450 system, through the hepatic deletion of either cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR; HRN line) or cytochrome b5 (Cyb5; HBN line). However, HRN mice still exhibit low levels of mono-oxygenase activity, in spite of the absence of detectable reductase protein. To investigate whether this is because cytochrome b5 and cytochrome b5 reductase can act as sole electron donors to the P450 system, we have crossed HRN with HBN mice to generate a line lacking hepatic expression of both electron donors (HBRN). HBRN mice exhibited exacerbation of the phenotypic characteristics of the HRN line - liver enlargement, hepatosteatosis and increased expression of certain cytochrome P450s. Also, drug metabolising activities in vitro were further reduced relative to the HRN model, in some cases to undetectable levels. Pharmacokinetic studies in vivo demonstrated that midazolam half-life, Cmax and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) were increased, and clearance was decreased, to a greater extent in the HBRN line than in either the HBN or HRN model. Microsomal incubations using NADPH concentrations below the apparent Km of cytochrome b5 reductase, but well above that for POR, led to the virtual elimination of 7-benzyloxyquinoline turnover in HRN samples. These data provide strong evidence that cytochrome b5/cytochrome b5 reductase can act as a sole electron donors to the cytochrome P450 system in vitro and in vivo.

Concepts: Cytochrome P450, Paracetamol, CYP3A4, P450-containing systems, Cytochrome P450 reductase


Our aim was to characterize Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) related to drug-drug interactions (DDIs) related to involvement of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) isoenzymes in a pharmacovigilance database.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Cytochrome P450, Adverse drug reaction, Cytochrome P450 reductase


NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), two members of the diflavin oxidoreductase family, are multi-domain enzymes containing distinct FAD and FMN domains connected by a flexible hinge. FAD accepts a hydride ion from NADPH, and reduced FAD donates electrons to FMN, which in turn transfers electrons to the heme center of cytochrome P450 or NOS oxygenase domain. Structural analysis of CYPOR, the prototype of this enzyme family, has revealed the exact nature of the domain arrangement and the role of residues involved in cofactor binding. Recent structural and biophysical studies of CYPOR have shown that the two flavin domains undergo large domain movements during catalysis. NOS isoforms contain additional regulatory elements within the reductase domain that control electron transfer through Ca(2+)-dependent calmodulin (CaM) binding. The recent crystal structure of an iNOS Ca(2+)/CaM-FMN construct, containing the FMN domain in complex with Ca(2+)/CaM, provided structural information on the linkage between the reductase and oxgenase domains of NOS, making it possible to model the holo iNOS structure. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the dynamics of domain movements during CYPOR catalysis and the role of the NOS diflavin reductase domain in the regulation of NOS isozyme activities.

Concepts: Electron, Metabolism, Enzyme, Cytochrome P450, Nitric oxide, Nitric oxide synthase, Enzymes, Cytochrome P450 reductase


Interindividual variability in cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated xenobiotic metabolism is extensive. CYP metabolism requires two electrons, which can be donated by NADPH cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) and/or cytochrome b5 (b5). Although substantial number of studies have reported on the function and effect of b5 in CYP-mediated catalysis, its mode of action is still not fully understood.

Concepts: Metabolism, Enzyme, Cytochrome P450, CYP1A2, Xenobiotic metabolism, P450-containing systems, Cytochrome P450 reductase, Xenobiotic


Cytochrome P450s are associated with metabolizing of a wide range of compounds including insecticides. CYP353D1v2 has been found over-expressed in the imidacloprid-resistant strain of Laodelphax striatellus. Thus, this study was conducted to express CYP353D1v2 in Sf9 cell as a recombinant protein, to assess its ability in metabolizing imidacloprid.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Metabolism, Endoplasmic reticulum, Escherichia coli, Cytochrome P450, Steroid, Cytochrome P450 reductase


Paraquat, a herbicide linked to Parkinson’s disease, generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which causes cell death. Because the source of paraquat-induced ROS production remains unknown, we conducted a CRISPR-based positive-selection screen to identify metabolic genes essential for paraquat-induced cell death. Our screen uncovered three genes, POR (cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase), ATP7A (copper transporter), and SLC45A4 (sucrose transporter), required for paraquat-induced cell death. Furthermore, our results revealed POR as the source of paraquat-induced ROS production. Thus, our study highlights the use of functional genomic screens for uncovering redox biology.

Concepts: Gene, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Oxidative phosphorylation, Hydrogen peroxide, Cytochrome P450, P450-containing systems, Cytochrome P450 reductase


Electron transfer in all living organisms critically relies on formation of complexes between the proteins involved. The function of these complexes requires specificity of the interaction to allow for selective electron transfer but also a fast turnover of the complex and they are therefore often transient in nature, making them challenging to study. Here, using small-angle neutron scattering with contrast matching with deuterated protein, we report the solution structure of the electron transfer complex between cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) and its electron transfer partner cytochrome c. This is the first reported solution structure of a complex between CPR and an electron transfer partner. The structure shows that the interprotein interface includes residues from both the FMN- and FAD-binding domains of CPR. In addition, the FMN is close to the heme of cytochrome c but distant from the FAD, indicating that domain movement is required between the electron transfer steps in the catalytic cycle of CPR. In summary, our results reveal key details of the CPR catalytic mechanism, including interactions of two domains of the reductase with cytochrome c and motions of these domains relative to one another. These findings shed light on inter-protein electron transfer in this system and illustrate a powerful approach for studying solution structures of protein-protein complexes.

Concepts: Electron, Metabolism, Neutron, Scattering, Cytochrome P450, Electron transport chain, P450-containing systems, Cytochrome P450 reductase


The CFTR potentiator ivacaftor is responsible for significant clinical improvements among a subset of patients with cystic fibrosis. Because it is a substrate of the cytochrome P450 system, specifically CYP3A4/5, ivacaftor is subject to significant drug-drug interactions, including due to commonly used antimicrobials such as rifampin. While the interaction of rifampin and ivacaftor has been examined in vitro, severe adverse events resulting from this interaction have not been reported in the literature. In this report, we describe the termination of steady, long-term improvement in a patient taking ivacaftor, resulting from the use of rifampin and precipitating a significant pulmonary exacerbation.

Concepts: Cystic fibrosis, Cytochrome P450, CYP3A4, Cytochrome P450 reductase, CYP2C9


The majority of cytochromes P450 play a critical role in metabolism of endogenous and exogenous substrates, some of its products are carcinogens. Therefore, inhibition of P450 enzymes activity can promote the detoxification and elimination of chemical carcinogens. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and adaptive steered molecular dynamics (ASMD) simulations were performed to explore the structure features and channel dynamics of three P450 isoforms 2A6, 2A13, and 2E1 bound with the common inhibitor pilocarpine. The binding free energy results combined with the PMF calculations give a reasonable ranking of binding affinity, which are consistent with the experimental data. Our results uncover how a sequence divergence of different CYP2 enzymes causes individual variations in major channel selections. On the basis of channel bottleneck and energy decomposition analysis, we propose a gating mechanism of their respective major channels in three enzymes, which may be attributed to a reversal of Phe209 in CYP2A6/2A13, as well as the rotation of Phe116 and Phe298 in CYP2E1. The hydrophobic residues not only make strong hydrophobic interactions with inhibitor, but also act as gatekeeper to regulate the opening of channel. The present study provides important insights into the structure-function relationships of three cytochrome P450s and the molecular basis for development of potent inhibitors.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Metabolism, Cytochrome P450, Enzyme inhibitor, Inhibitor, Xanthine oxidase inhibitor, CYP2E1, Cytochrome P450 reductase