Human cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) is one of the major drug metabolising enzymes which exhibits a broad substrate specificity. The B-C loop is located in the active-site but has been difficult to model, owing to its diverse and flexible structure. To elucidate the function of the B-C loop we used homology modelling based on the Cyp102 structure in combination with functional studies of mutants using diclofenac as a model substrate for CYP2C9. The study shows the importance of the conserved arginine in position 97 and the arginine in position 108 for the catalytic function. The R97A mutant had a 13-fold higher K(m) value while the V(max) was in the same order as the wild type. The R108 mutant had a 100-fold lower activity with diclofenac compared to the wild-type enzyme. The other six mutants (S95A, F100A, L102A, E104A, R105A, and N107A) had kinetic parameters similar to the CYP2C9 wild-type. Our homology model based on the CYP102 structure as template indicates that R97, L102, and R105 are directed into the active site, whereas R108 is not. The change in catalytic function when arginine 97 was replaced with alanine and the orientation of this amino acid in our homology model indicates its importance for substrate interaction.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.