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Lipids. 2000 Apr;35(4):365-71.

Fatty acid-specific, regiospecific, and stereospecific hydroxylation by cytochrome P450 (CYP152B1) from Sphingomonas paucimobilis: substrate structure required for alpha-hydroxylation.

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Department of Molecular Regulation, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan.


Fatty acid alpha-hydroxylase from Sphingomonas paucimobilis is an unusual cytochrome P450 enzyme that hydroxylates the alpha-carbon of fatty acids in the presence of H2O2. Herein, we describe our investigation concerning the utilization of various substrates and the optical configuration of the alpha-hydroxyl product using a recombinant form of this enzyme. This enzyme can metabolize saturated fatty acids with carbon chain lengths of more than 10. The Km value for pentadecanoic acid (C15) was the smallest among the saturated fatty acids tested (C10-C18) and that for myristic acid (C14) showed similar enzyme kinetics to those seen for C15. As shorter or longer carbon chain lengths were used, Km values increased. The turnover numbers for fatty acids with carbon chain lengths of more than 11 were of the same order of magnitude (10(3) min(-1)), but the turnover number for undecanoic acid (C11) was less. Dicarboxylic fatty acids and methyl myristate were not metabolized, but monomethyl hexadecanedioate and omega-hydroxypalmitic acid were metabolized, though with lower turnover values. Arachidonic acid was a good substrate, comparable to C14 or C15. The metabolite of arachidonic acid was only alpha-hydroxyarachidonic acid. Alkanes, fatty alcohols, and fatty aldehydes were not utilized as substrates. Analysis of the optical configurations of the alpha-hydroxylated products demonstrated that the products were S-enantiomers (more than 98% enantiomerically pure). These results suggested that this P450 enzyme is strictly responsible for fatty acids and catalyzes highly stereo- and regioselective hydroxylation, where structure of omega-carbon and carboxyl carbon as well as carbon chain length of fatty acids are important for substrate-enzyme interaction.

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