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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Jun 15;522(2):71-89. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jan 13.

The monooxygenase, peroxidase, and peroxygenase properties of cytochrome P450.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, 2146 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z3.


This review examines the monooxygenase, peroxidase, and peroxygenase properties of cytochrome P450 (P450)1 enzymes and their mechanisms of action in archaeal, bacterial, and mammalian systems. In the P450 catalytic cycle, a transient iron oxo monooxygenating species is generated that reacts with substrate to produce a monooxygenated product. We describe results of early investigations that endeavored to trap and detect this elusive monooxygenating species, as well as results of experiments that attempted to generate and characterize this active oxidant spectroscopically after reacting ferric P450 enzymes with peroxy compounds (e.g. peroxides, peracids) or single oxygen atom donors (e.g. periodate, iodosobenzene). Surrogate oxidants were able to promote P450-catalyzed monooxygenations in a manner similar to that of O2/NAD(P)H, suggesting involvement of a common transitory monooxygenating species in the two pathways. This common P450 oxidant was characterized as a porphyrin radical iron(IV) oxo complex and assigned a Compound I structure (Por+FeIV=O) exhibiting a formal FeV oxidation state. Other reactive oxidants, such as the ferric oxenoid complex (PorFeIII=O), ferryloxy radical species (PorFeIV-O·), and perferryloxo entity (PorFeV=O), were also proposed to function as P450 monooxygenating species. We also discuss the possible involvement of the ferriperoxo (PorFeIII-OO-) and ferrihydroperoxo (PorFeIII-OOH) species as alternative oxidants in P450-mediated monooxygenation reactions.

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