Peroxynitrite inactivation of human cytochrome P450s 2B6 and 2E1: heme modification and site-specific nitrotyrosine formation

Chem Res Toxicol. 2007 Nov;20(11):1612-22. doi: 10.1021/tx700220e. Epub 2007 Oct 2.


This study examined the reaction of peroxynitrite (PN) with two human cytochrome P450s, P450 2B6 (2B6) and P450 2E1 (2E1). After the reaction with PN, the NADPH/reductase-supported 7-ethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)coumarin (EFC) deethylation activity of both P450s was decreased in a concentration-dependent manner. HPLC analysis revealed that the prosthetic heme group of 2B6 was modified but to a lesser extent than the decrease in enzymatic activity. In contrast, the heme moiety of 2E1 was not altered. These results suggest that protein modification by PN contributed to the loss in enzymatic activity of 2B6 and 2E1 but to different extents. After trypsin digestion of the control and PN-inactivated P450s, tyrosine nitration was used as a biomarker for protein modification and the addition of the nitro group was determined using electrospray ionization-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, allowing site-specific assignment of the tyrosine residues nitrated. Tyrosine residues 354, 244, 268, and 380 in 2B6 and tyrosine residues 317, 422, 69, and 380 in 2E1 were found to be nitrated. Tyrosine 354 is the primary site of nitration in 2B6, and tyrosine residues 422 and 317 are the primary targets for nitration in 2E1. After PN exposure, the EFC catalytic activity of 2E1 supported by tert-butylhydroperoxide was not affected, and the activity of 2B6 supported by tert-butylhydroperoxide was decreased to a lesser extent than that supported by NADPH/reductase. Following exposure to PN, the levels of the reduced-CO complex were less than the content of native heme remaining. These results suggest that PN-mediated protein modification has no effect on substrate binding but may impair the interaction of the reductase with P450s, thereby inhibiting electron transfer. Homology modeling shows that Tyr422 of 2E1 is in close proximity to the FMN domain of reductase, suggesting that Tyr422 may be involved in transferring electrons from the reductase to the heme and thus may play a critical structural and functional role in the extensive activity loss following PN exposure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / chemistry
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / metabolism
  • Carbon Monoxide / chemistry
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1 / chemistry
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1 / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1 Inhibitors*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Heme / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / metabolism
  • Peroxynitrous Acid / pharmacology*
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / biosynthesis
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide / pharmacology


  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1 Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Peroxynitrous Acid
  • 3-nitrotyrosine
  • Tyrosine
  • Heme
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP2B6 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating