Macaque cytochromes P450: nomenclature, transcript, gene, genomic structure, and function

Drug Metab Rev. 2011 Aug;43(3):346-61. doi: 10.3109/03602532.2010.549492. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


Monkeys, especially macaques, including cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), are frequently used in drug metabolism studies due to their evolutionary closeness to humans. Recently, numerous cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP) cDNAs have been identified and characterized in cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys and were named by the P450 Nomenclature Committee. However, recent advances in genome analysis of cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys revealed that some monkey P450s are apparently orthologous to human P450s and thus need to be renamed corresponding to their human orthologs. In this review, we focus on the P450s identified in cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys and present an overview of the identity and functional characteristics of each P450 cDNA in the CYP1-4 families. Information on the Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata), African green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops), and marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), primate species used in some drug metabolism studies, are also included. We compared the genomic structure of the macaque P450 genes to those of human and rat P450 genes in the CYP1-4 families. Based on sequence identity, phylogeny, and genomic organization of monkey P450s, we determined orthologous relationships of monkey P450s and, in this article, propose a revised nomenclature: CYP2B17/CYP2B30 to CYP2B6, CYP2C20/CYP2C74 to CYP2C8, CYP2C43/CYP2C83 to CYP2C9, CYP2C75 to CYP2C19, CYP2F6 to CYP2F1, CYP3A8/CYP3A21/CYP3A64 to CYP3A4, CYP3A66 to CYP3A5, and CYP4F45 to CYP4F2. The information presented in this review is expected to promote a better understanding of monkey P450 genes through comparative genomics and thereby make it more feasible to use monkeys in drug metabolism studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / classification*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Macaca / genetics
  • Macaca / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System