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J Biol Chem. 2000 Dec 29;275(52):41087-91.

Differential contributions of NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase FAD binding site residues to flavin binding and catalysis.

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  • 1McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1599, USA.


Transfer of reducing equivalents from NADPH to the cytochromes P450 is mediated by NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase, which contains stoichiometric amounts of tightly bound FMN and FAD. Hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions between FAD and amino acid residues in the FAD binding site of the reductase serve to regulate both flavin binding and reactivity. The precise orientation of key residues (Arg(454), Tyr(456), Cys(472), Gly(488), Thr(491), and Trp(677)) has been defined by x-ray crystallography (Wang, M., Roberts, D. L., Paschke, R., Shea, T. M., Masters, B. S., Kim, J.-J. P. (1997) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 94, 8411-8416). The current study examines the relative contributions of these residues to FAD binding and catalysis by site-directed mutagenesis and kinetic analysis. Mutation of either Tyr(456), which makes van der Waals contact with the FAD isoalloxazine ring and also hydrogen-bonds to the ribityl 4'-hydroxyl, or Arg(454), which bonds to the FAD pyrophosphate, decreases the affinity for FAD 8000- and 25,000-fold, respectively, with corresponding decreases in cytochrome c reductase activity. In contrast, substitution of Thr(491), which also interacts with the pyrophosphate grouping, had a relatively modest effect on both FAD binding (100-fold decrease) and catalytic activity (2-fold decrease), while the G488L mutant exhibited, respectively, 800- and 50-fold decreases in FAD binding and catalytic activity. Enzymic activity of each of these mutants could be restored by addition of FAD. Kinetic properties and the FMN content of these mutants were not affected by these substitutions, with the exception of a 3-fold increase in Y456S K(m)(cyt )(c) and a 70% decrease in R454E FMN content, suggesting that the FMN- and FAD-binding domains are largely, but not completely, independent. Even though Trp(677) is stacked against the re-face of FAD, suggesting an important role in FAD binding, deletion of both Trp(677) and the carboxyl-terminal Ser(678) decreased catalytic activity 50-fold without affecting FAD content.

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