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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Nov;10(11):502-8.

A novel class of self-sufficient cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in prokaryotes.

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  • 1Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium.


The Bacillus cytochrome P450 BM3 integrates an entire P450 system in one polypeptide and represents a convenient prokaryotic model for microsomal P450s. This self-sufficient class II P450 is also present in actinomycetes and fungi. By genome analysis we have identified additional homologues in the pathogenic species Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, and in Ralstonia metallidurans. This analysis also revealed a novel class of putative self-sufficient P450s, P450 PFOR, comprising a class I P450 that is related to Rhodococcus erythropolis CYP116, and a phthalate family oxygenase reductase (PFOR) module. P450 PFOR genes are found in a Rhodococcus strain, three pathogenic Burkholderia species and in the R. metallidurans strain that possesses a P450 BM3 homologue. Co-evolution of P450 and reductase domains is apparent in both types of self-sufficient enzymes. The new class of P450 enzymes is of potential interest for various biotechnological applications.

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