Allosteric P450 mechanisms: multiple binding sites, multiple conformers or both?

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2008 Dec;4(12):1523-35. doi: 10.1517/17425250802500028.


According to the initial hypothesis on the mechanisms of cooperativity in drug-metabolizing cytochromes P450, a loose fit of a single substrate molecule in the P450 active site results in a requirement for the binding of multiple ligand molecules for efficient catalysis. Although simultaneous occupancy of the active site by multiple ligands is now well established, there is increasing evidence that the mechanistic basis of cooperativity also involves an important ligand-induced conformational transition. Moreover, recent studies demonstrate that the conformational heterogeneity of the enzyme is stabilized by ligand-dependent interactions of several P450 molecules. Application of the concept of an oligomeric allosteric enzyme to microsomal cytochromes P450 in combination with a general paradigm of multiple ligand occupancy of the active site provides an excellent explanation for complex manifestations of the atypical kinetic behavior of the enzyme.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Allosteric Site*
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System