Stereoselective epoxidation of the last double bond of polyunsaturated fatty acids by human cytochromes P450

J Lipid Res. 2010 May;51(5):1125-33. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M003061. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) metabolize polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids (PUFA-LC) to several classes of oxygenated metabolites. Through use of human recombinant CYPs, we recently showed that CYP1A1, -2C19, -2D6, -2E1, and -3A4 are mainly hydroxylases, whereas CYP1A2, -2C8, -2C9, and -2J2 are mainly epoxygenases of arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), respectively. It is worth noting that the last double bond of these PUFAs, i.e., omega6 in AA or omega3 in EPA and DHA, respectively, was preferentially epoxidized. In this study, we have characterized the stereoselectivity of this epoxidation reaction by comparison with the PUFA-LC epoxide stereoisomers obtained from the enantioselective bacterial CYP102A1 F87V. The stereoselectivity of the epoxidation of the last olefin of AA (omega6), EPA (omega3), or DHA (omega3) differed between the CYP isoforms but was similar for EPA and DHA. These data give additional insight into the PUFA-LC epoxide enantiomers generated by the hepatic CYPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Epoxy Compounds / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Isoenzymes
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System