Phenylalanine and tryptophan scanning mutagenesis of CYP3A4 substrate recognition site residues and effect on substrate oxidation and cooperativity

Biochemistry. 2001 Aug 28;40(34):10150-60. doi: 10.1021/bi010758a.


Phenylalanine and/or tryptophan scanning mutagenesis was performed at 15 sites within CYP3A4 proposed to be involved in substrate specificity or cooperativity. The sites were chosen on the basis of previous studies or from a comparison with the structure of P450(eryF) containing two molecules of androstenedione. The function of the 25 mutants was assessed in a reconstituted system using progesterone, testosterone, 7-benzyloxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)coumarin (7-BFC), and alpha-naphthoflavone (ANF) as substrates. CYP3A4 wild type displayed sigmoidal kinetics of ANF 5,6-oxide formation and 7-BFC debenzylation. Analysis of 12 mutants with significant steroid hydroxylase activity showed a lack of positive correlation between ANF oxidation and stimulation of progesterone 6beta-hydroxylation by ANF, indicating that ANF binds at two sites within CYP3A4. 7-BFC debenzylation was stimulated by progesterone and ANF, and 7-BFC did not inhibit testosterone or progesterone 6beta-hydroxylation. Correlational analysis showed no relationship between 7-BFC debenzylation and either progesterone or testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation. These data are difficult to explain with a two-site model of CYP3A4 but suggest that three subpockets exist within the active site. Interestingly, classification of the mutants according to their ability to oxidize the four substrates utilized in this study suggested that substrates do bind at preferred locations in the CYP3A4 binding pocket.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Escherichia coli
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / chemistry*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Phenylalanine*
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tryptophan*


  • DNA Primers
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Phenylalanine
  • Progesterone
  • Tryptophan
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • CYP3A protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human