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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Mar 12;315(3):679-85.

Characterization and tissue distribution of a novel human cytochrome P450-CYP2U1.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Toxicology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


A novel human cytochrome P450 cDNA designated CYP2U1 was identified using homology searches, and the corresponding gene is located on chromosome 4. The deduced 544 amino acid sequence displays up to 39% identity to other CYP2 family members, with closest resemblance to CYP2R1 and is highly conserved between species. CYP2U1 shows some structural differences compared to other CYP2 family members. The gene has only five exons and the enzyme harbors two insertions in the N-terminal region. Northern blot analysis revealed high mRNA expression in human thymus, with weaker expression in heart and brain, whereas in the rat similar mRNA levels were detected in thymus and brain. Western blot analysis revealed much higher CYP2U1 protein expression in rat brain than in thymus, particularly in limbic structures and in cortex. The physiological and toxicological role of this novel P450 is still unknown, but the selective tissue distribution suggests an important endogenous function.

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