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Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2007 Feb;3(1):33-49.

Cellular proteolytic systems in P450 degradation: evolutionary conservation from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to mammalian liver.

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University of California, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Mission Bay Campus, San Francisco, CA 94158-2517, USA.


Mammalian hepatic cytochromes P450 (P450s) are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-anchored haemoproteins with the bulk of their catalytic domains exposed to the cytosol and engaged in the metabolism of numerous xeno- and endobiotics. The native P450s exhibit widely ranging half-lifes and predominantly turn over via either autophagic-lysosomal degradation (ALD) or ubiquitin-dependent 26S proteasomal degradation (UPD). The basis for this heterogeneity and differential proteolytic targeting is unknown. On the other hand, structurally/functionally inactivated P450s are predominantly degraded via UPD in a process known as ER-associated degradation (ERAD). ALD/UPD/ERAD pathways are evolutionarily highly conserved. The availability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with specific genetic defects/deletions in various ALD/UPD/ERAD-associated proteins and corresponding isogenic wild-type strains has enabled the molecular dissection of the degradation pathways for heterologously expressed mammalian P450s, leading to the identification of specific protein participants. These findings collectively attest to a highly versatile cellular system for the physiological disposal of native, senescent and/or inactivated, structurally damaged mammalian liver P450s.

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