Uncovering the role of hydrophobic residues in cytochrome P450-cytochrome P450 reductase interactions

Biochemistry. 2011 May 17;50(19):3957-67. doi: 10.1021/bi1020748. Epub 2011 Apr 22.


Cytochrome P450 (CYP or P450)-mediated drug metabolism requires the interaction of P450s with their redox partner, cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). In this work, we have investigated the role of P450 hydrophobic residues in complex formation with CPR and uncovered novel roles for the surface-exposed residues V267 and L270 of CYP2B4 in mediating CYP2B4--CPR interactions. Using a combination of fluorescence labeling and stopped-flow spectroscopy, we have investigated the basis for these interactions. Specifically, in order to study P450--CPR interactions, a single reactive cysteine was introduced in to a genetically engineered variant of CYP2B4 (C79SC152S) at each of seven strategically selected surface-exposed positions. Each of these cysteine residues was modified by reaction with fluorescein-5-maleimide (FM), and the CYP2B4-FM variants were then used to determine the K(d) of the complex by monitoring fluorescence enhancement in the presence of CPR. Furthermore, the intrinsic K(m) values of the CYP2B4 variants for CPR were measured, and stopped-flow spectroscopy was used to determine the intrinsic kinetics and the extent of reduction of the ferric P450 mutants to the ferrous P450--CO adduct by CPR. A comparison of the results from these three approaches reveals that the sites on P450 exhibiting the greatest changes in fluorescence intensity upon binding CPR are associated with the greatest increases in the K(m) values of the P450 variants for CPR and with the greatest decreases in the rates and extents of reduced P450--CO formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / chemistry
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions*
  • Leucine / chemistry*
  • Leucine / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • NADPH-Ferrihemoprotein Reductase / chemistry*
  • NADPH-Ferrihemoprotein Reductase / genetics
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Surface Properties
  • Valine / chemistry*
  • Valine / genetics


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2
  • cytochrome P-450 CYP2B4 (rabbit)
  • NADPH-Ferrihemoprotein Reductase
  • Leucine
  • Valine