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J Biol Chem. 2002 Dec 13;277(50):48960-4. Epub 2002 Oct 14.

Modification of the nucleotide cofactor-binding site of cytochrome P-450 reductase to enhance turnover with NADH in Vivo.

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Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536-0305, USA.


NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase is the electron transfer partner for the cytochromes P-450, heme oxygenase, and squalene monooxygenase and is a component of the nitric-oxide synthases and methionine-synthase reductase. P-450 reductase shows very high selectivity for NADPH and uses NADH only poorly. Substitution of tryptophan 677 with alanine has been shown to yield a 3-fold increase in turnover with NADH, but profound inhibition by NADP(+) makes the enzyme unsuitable for in vivo applications. In the present study site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in the 2'-phosphate-binding site of the NADPH domain, coupled with the W677A substitution, was used to generate a reductase that was able to use NADH efficiently without inhibition by NADP(+). Of 11 single, double, and triple mutant proteins, two (R597M/W677A and R597M/K602W/W677A) showed up to a 500-fold increase in catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) with NADH. Inhibition by NADP(+) was reduced by up to 4 orders of magnitude relative to the W677A protein and was equal to or less than that of the wild-type reductase. Both proteins were 2-3-fold more active than wild-type reductase with NADH in reconstitution assays with cytochrome P-450 1A2 and with squalene monooxygenase. In a recombinant cytochrome P-450 2E1 Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, the R597M/W677A protein increased the sensitivity to dimethylnitrosamine by approximately 2-fold, suggesting that the ability to use NADH afforded a significant advantage in this in vivo assay.

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