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J Biol Chem. 1993 Apr 5;268(10):7553-61.

Critical residues involved in FMN binding and catalytic activity in cytochrome P450BM-3.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1737.


Cytochrome P450BM-3 from Bacillus megaterium is a soluble, catalytically self-sufficient fatty acid mono-oxygenase that, in structural organization and amino acid sequence, resembles the Class II (microsomal) P450 systems. Its single polypeptide chain contains both a P450 heme domain and an NADPH:P450 reductase domain, each of which bears significant homology with its microsomal counterparts. We report here the critical nature of three amino acids in the reductase domain of this enzyme with respect to FMN binding and catalytic activity. We used site-directed mutagenesis to change glycine 570 to bulkier amino acids; none of these mutant enzymes contained FMN after purification. We also made substitutions for tryptophan 574 and tyrosine 536, which by sequence analogy (Porter, T. D. (1991) Trends Biochem. Sci. 16, 154-158) were proposed to bind FMN through stacking of the aromatic rings with the isoalloxazine ring of the flavin. Mutants of tryptophan 574 which retained the aromatic side chain contained no less than 0.85 mol of FMN per mol of enzyme, while aspartate and glycine substitutions yielded enzymes which did not incorporate FMN. Substitution of tyrosine 536 with aspartate gave an enzyme which contained 0.44 mol of FMN per mol of enzyme but was inactive as a fatty acid hydroxylase and had only 2% of wild-type cytochrome c reductase activity, while the glycine mutant at this position bound no FMN. Furthermore, although all of the mutant enzymes contained 1 mol of FAD per mol of enzyme, the Y536D mutant and those entirely lacking FMN retained no more than 40% of wild-type ferricyanide reductase activity. By assaying these enzymes in the presence of added FMN, we were able to assess the relative importance of the residues in the wild-type sequence with respect to their contribution to FMN binding. In addition, the aromatic mutants of tryptophan 574, which were nearly as active in cytochrome c reduction as wild-type P450BM-3, were only 20% as active in myristate hydroxylation as the wild-type enzyme, suggesting that this amino acid plays an important role in the flow of electrons between the P450 heme and reductase domains.

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