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Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Apr 15;55(8):1315-25.

High catalytic activity of human cytochrome P450 co-expressed with human NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase in Escherichia coli.

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Division of Drug Metabolism, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Forms of human cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP), such as CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, and CYP3A4, were expressed or co-expressed together with human NADPH-P450 reductase in Escherichia coli. When P450 was expressed alone in E. coli, the expression level of holo-P450 ranged from 310 to 1620 nmol/L of culture. The expression level of holo-P450 decreased by co-expression with the reductase, and the level ranged from 66 to 381 nmol/L of culture. The expression level of the reductase varied depending on the forms of P450 co-expressed, and ranged from 204 to 937 U/L of culture. We assayed the catalytic activity of P450 using E. coli cells disrupted by freeze-thaw. When co-expressed with the reductase, human P450 catalyzed the oxidation of representative substrates at efficient rates. The rates appeared comparable to the reported activities of P450 in a reconstituted system containing purified preparations of P450 and the reductase.

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