NADPH cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CPR) is the obligatory electron supplier that sustains the activity of microsomal cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. The variant nature of the isoform-specific proximal interface of microsomal CYPs indicates that CPR is capable of multiple degenerated interactions with CYPs for electron transfer, through different binding mechanisms, and which are still not well-understood. Recently, we showed that CPR dynamics allows formation of open conformations that can be sampled by its structurally diverse redox partners in a CYP-isoform dependent manner. To further investigate the role of the CPR FMN-domain in effective binding of CPR to its diverse acceptors and to clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms, five different CPR-FMN-domain random mutant libraries were created. These libraries were screened for mutants with increased activity when combined with specific CYP-isoforms. Seven CPR-FMN-domain mutants were identified, supporting a gain in activity for CYP1A2 (P117H, G144C, A229T), 2A6 (P117L/L125V, G175D, H183Y), or 3A4 (N151D). Effects were evaluated using extended enzyme kinetic analysis, cytochrome b5 competition, ionic strength effect on CYP activity, and structural analysis. Mutated residues were located either in or adjacent to several acidic amino acid stretches – formerly indicated to be involved in CPR:CYP interactions – or close to two tyrosine residues suggested to be involved in FMN binding. Several of the identified positions co-localize with mutations found in naturally occurring CPR variants that were previously shown to cause CYP-isoform-dependent effects. The mutations do not seem to significantly alter the geometry of the FMN-domain but are likely to cause very subtle alterations leading to improved interaction with a specific CYP. Overall, these data suggest that CYPs interact with CPR using an isoform specific combination of several binding motifs of the FMN-domain.
- binding motifs
- cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYP)
- electron transfer
- NADPH cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CPR)
- protein–protein interaction
- redox partner