Comparative modeling of 25-hydroxycholesterol-7α-hydroxylase (CYP7B1): ligand binding and analysis of hereditary spastic paraplegia type 5 CYP7B1 mutations

J Mol Model. 2012 Feb;18(2):441-53. doi: 10.1007/s00894-011-1084-6. Epub 2011 May 4.


CYP7B1 mutations have been linked directly with the neurodegenerative disease hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), with mutations in the CYP7B1 gene identified as being directly responsible for autosomal recessive HSP type 5A (SPG5). To evaluate the potential impact of CYP7B1 mutations identified in SPG5 on binding and protein function, a comparative model of cytochrome P450 7B1 (CYP7B1) was constructed using human CYP7A1 as a template during model construction. The secondary structure was predicted using the PSIPRED and GOR4 prediction methods, the lowest energy CYP7B1 model was generated using MOE, and then this model was assessed in terms of stereochemical quality and the side chain environment using RAMPAGE, Verify3D and ProSA. Evaluation of the active site residues of the CYP7B1 model and validation of the active site architecture were performed via molecular docking experiments: the docking of the substrates 25-hydroxycholesterol and 27-hydroxycholesterol and the inhibitor 3α-Adiol identified structurally and functionally important residues. Mutational analysis of CYP7B1 amino acid mutations related to hereditary spastic paraplegia type 5 considered phosphorylation, ligand/substrate binding and the structural roles of mutated amino acid residues, with R112, T297 and S363 mutations expected to have a direct impact on ligand binding, while mutations involving R417 would indirectly affect ligand binding as a result of impairment in catalytic function.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 7
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / chemistry*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / classification
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / genetics*


  • Ligands
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 7
  • CYP7B1 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Spastic paraplegia type 5A, recessive