Regiospecificity of human cytochrome P450 1A1-mediated oxidations: the role of steric effects

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2005 Dec;23(3):243-56. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2005.10507063.


Cytochrome P450 1A1 oxidizes a diverse range of substrates, including the procarcinogenic xenobiotic benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and endogenous fatty acid precursors of prostaglandins, such as arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EA). We have investigated the extent to which enzyme-substrate interactions govern regio- and stereoselectivity of oxidation of these compounds by using docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to examine the likelihood of substrate oxidation at various sites. Due to structural differences between the substrates analyzed, B[a]P and its diols (planar, rigid), and the fatty acids AA and EA (long, flexible), different docking strategies were required. B[a]P, B[a]P-7,8-diols, (+) 7S,8S- and (-) 7R,8R-diols, were docked into the active site of a homology model of P450 1A1 using an automated routine, Affinity (Accelrys, San Diego, CA). AA and EA, on the other hand, required a series of restrained MD simulations to obtain a variety of productive binding modes. All complexes were evaluated by MD-based in silico site scoring to predict product profiles based on certain geometric criteria, such as angle and distance of a given substrate atom from the ferryl oxygen. For all substrates studied, the in vitro profiles were generally reflected by the in silico scores, which suggests that steric factors play a key role in determining regiospecificity in P450 1A1-mediated oxidations. We have also shown that molecular dynamics simulations may be very useful in determination of product profiles for structurally diverse substrates of P450 enzymes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Conformation
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Fatty Acids
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1