Stereoselective 4'-hydroxylations of R-(-)-mephenytoin and S-(+)-mephenytoin and 3'-hydroxylation of R-(-)-hexobarbital and S-(+)-hexobarbital were determined in liver microsomes of 14 Japanese subjects who were extensive metabolizers of mephenytoin and in five Japanese subjects who were poor metabolizers of mephenytoin. Content of P-450 human-2 assessed by Western blots was correlated to microsomal S-(+)-mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation, R-(-)-hexobarbital 3' alpha-hydroxylation, and S-(+)-hexobarbital 3' beta-hydroxylation, and was less correlated to R-(-)mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation, R-(-)-hexobarbital 3' beta-hydroxylation, and S-(+)-hexobarbital 3' alpha-hydroxylation. Antibodies raised against P-450 human-2 inhibited microsomal S-(+)-mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation efficiently but was less efficient on R-(-)-mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation in extensive metabolizers and on 4'-hydroxylation of mephenytoin enantiomers in poor metabolizers. The antibodies also inhibited R-(-)-hexobarbital 3' alpha-hydroxylation and S-(+)-hexobarbital 3' beta-hydroxylation but did not effectively inhibit the hydroxylation of the two other optical isomers of hexobarbital in extensive metabolizers and of four stereoisomers in poor metabolizers. These findings indicate the close relationship between polymorphic mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation and two stereospecific hexobarbital hydroxylations, and they suggest that P-450 human-2 is a typical S-(+)-mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylase and a major hexobarbital 3'-hydroxylase in the livers of extensive metabolizers. The findings were further supported by the experiments that used P-450 human-2 complementary dexoyribonucleic acid-derived protein in yeast microsomes.