Molecular modeling of cytochrome P450 1A1: enzyme-substrate interactions and substrate binding affinities

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2002 Oct;20(2):155-62. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2002.10506831.


Human cytochrome P450 1A1, which is present in lungs, plays an important role in the metabolic activation of chemical carcinogens, and in particular, is thought to be linked to lung cancer. The mechanism of carcinogenesis is related to the enzyme's ability to oxidize highly toxic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to their carcinogenic derivatives. In order to better understand P450 1A1 function, a homology model of this enzyme has been constructed. The model has been based on the structure of P450 2C5, the first mammalian P450 to be crystallized. The coordinates of the model have been calculated using a consensus strategy, and the resulting structure has been evaluated with the ProStat and Profiles-3D programs. P450 1A1 substrates, such as benzo[a]pyrene, ethoxyresorufin and methoxyresorufin, were then docked into the active site of the model, and key amino acid residues able to interact with the substrate, have been identified. The analysis of enzyme-substrate interactions indicated that hydrophobic interactions are mainly responsible for binding of these substrates in the active site. Moreover, the non-bond enzyme-substrate interaction energy for ethoxyresorufin was lower than that for methoxyresorufin, which is consistent with higher activity of 1A1 towards the former substrate. Key residue Val-382 may play an important role in these interactions. Additionally, we performed binding free energy calculations for the three substrates. The obtained values were similar to those observed experimentally, which suggests that this approach might be useful for prediction of binding constants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxazines / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Water


  • Ligands
  • Oxazines
  • Water
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • 7-methoxyresorufin
  • ethoxyresorufin
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1