Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bioorg Med Chem. 1999 Aug;7(8):1487-96.

A novel molecular modelling study of inhibitors of the 17alpha-hydroxylase component of the enzyme system 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P-450(17alpha)).

Author information

  • 1School of Applied Chemistry, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK.


The enzyme 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P-450(17alpha) has recently become the focus of research into the fight against hormone dependent prostate cancer. However, the specific nature of this enzyme, in particular, the dual role of its active site, remains unknown. In our drive to elucidate further information regarding P-450(17alpha), and in light of our experience of other cytochrome P-450 enzymes, we chose to consider each part of this complex enzyme separately (i.e. the 17alpha-hydroxylase (17alpha-OHase) and the 17,20-lyase components). We therefore initiated a series of molecular modelling studies involving the construction of a 'substrate heme complex' for each of the two components. Here, we consider the construction and use of the complex for the 17alpha-OHase component of this enzyme. Using this approach, we have successfully considered: the binding of steroidal and non-steroidal reversible inhibitors: the structural features necessary for potent inhibition: and, rationalised the mode of action of a number of compounds whose inhibitory activity has not been previously explained, for example aminoglutethimide (an inhibitor of another related cytochrome P-450 enzyme, aromatase AR). The study concludes that the ability of the inhibitors of 17alpha-OHase to undergo polar polar interaction with the active site and for the compounds to closely mimic the substrate plane is a major factor in determining potency. Factors such as log P (log of the partition coefficient value for the distribution of a compound between octanol and water) would then appear to determine the extent of overall inhibitory activity. Overall, the study suggests that the novel substrate-heme complex approach has provided a good approximation of the 17alpha-OHase active site and has proved to be a useful tool in drug design and discovery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center