Prediction and analysis of the modular structure of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases

BMC Struct Biol. 2010 Oct 15;10:34. doi: 10.1186/1472-6807-10-34.


Background: Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) form a vast and diverse family of highly variable sequences. They catalyze a wide variety of oxidative reactions and are therefore of great relevance in drug development and biotechnological applications. Despite their differences in sequence and substrate specificity, the structures of CYPs are highly similar. Although being in research focus for years, factors mediating selectivity and activity remain vague.

Description: This systematic comparison of CYPs based on the Cytochrome P450 Engineering Database (CYPED) involved sequence and structure analysis of more than 8000 sequences. 31 structures have been applied to generate a reliable structure-based HMM profile in order to predict structurally conserved regions. Therefore, it was possible to automatically transfer these modules on CYP sequences without any secondary structure information, to analyze substrate interacting residues and to compare interaction sites with redox partners.

Conclusions: Functionally relevant structural sites of CYPs were predicted. Regions involved in substrate binding were analyzed in all sequences among the CYPED. For all CYPs that require a reductase, two reductase interaction sites were identified and classified according to their length. The newly gained insights promise an improvement of engineered enzyme properties for potential biotechnological application. The annotated sequences are accessible on the current version of the CYPED. The prediction tool can be applied to any CYP sequence via the web interface at

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Computational Biology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System