Controlling the regiospecificity and coupling of cytochrome P450cam: T185F mutant increases coupling and abolishes 3-hydroxynorcamphor product

Protein Sci. 1993 Mar;2(3):357-65. doi: 10.1002/pro.5560020308.


Cytochrome P450cam (P450CIA1) catalyzes the hydroxylation of camphor and several substrate analogues such as norcamphor and 1-methyl-norcamphor. Hydroxylation was found experimentally at the 3, 5, and 6 positions of norcamphor, but only at the 5 and 6 positions of 1-methyl-norcamphor. In the catalytic cycle, the hydroxylation of substrate is coupled to the consumption of NADH. For camphor, the degree of coupling is 100%, but for both norcamphor and 1-methyl-norcamphor, the efficiency is dramatically lowered to 12% and 50%, respectively. Based on an examination of the active site of P450cam, it appeared that mutating position 185 might dramatically alter the product specificity and coupling of hydroxylation of norcamphor by P450cam. Analysis of molecular dynamics trajectories of norcamphor bound to the T185F mutant of cytochrome P450cam predicted that hydroxylation at the 3 position should be abolished and that the coupling should be dramatically increased. This mutant was constructed and the product profile and coupling experimentally determined. The coupling was doubled, and hydroxylation at the 3 position was essentially abolished. Both of these results are in agreement with the prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Camphor 5-Monooxygenase
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Hydroxylation
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / chemistry
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Norbornanes / chemistry
  • Norbornanes / metabolism
  • Protein Engineering
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Norbornanes
  • norcamphor
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Camphor 5-Monooxygenase