Sterol 14alpha-demethylase cytochrome P450 (CYP51), a P450 in all biological kingdoms

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Mar;1770(3):467-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2006.07.018. Epub 2006 Aug 2.


The CYP51 family is an intriguing subject for fundamental P450 structure/function studies and is also an important clinical drug target. This review updates information on the variety of the CYP51 family members, including their physiological roles, natural substrates and substrate preferences, and catalytic properties in vitro. We present experimental support for the notion that specific conserved regions in the P450 sequences represent a CYP51 signature. Two possible roles of CYP51 in P450 evolution are discussed and the major approaches for CYP51 inhibition are summarized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases / chemistry*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sterol 14-Demethylase
  • Sterols / biosynthesis


  • CYP51A1 protein, human
  • Sterols
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Sterol 14-Demethylase