Both CYP158A1 and CYP158A2 are able to catalyze an oxidative C-C coupling reaction producing biflaviolin or triflaviolin in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). The substrate-bound crystal structures of CYP158A2 and CYP158A1 reveal that the side chain of Ile87 in CYP158A2 points to the active site contacting the distal flaviolin molecule, however, the bulkier side chain of Lys90 in CYP158A1 (corresponding to Ile87 in CYP158A2) is toward the distal surface of the protein. These results suggest that these residues could be important in determining product regiospecificity. In order to explore the role of the two residues in catalysis, the reciprocal mutants, Ile87Lys and Lys90Ile, of CYP158A2 and CYP158A1, respectively, were generated and characterized. The mutant Ile87Lys enzyme forms two isomers of biflaviolin instead of three isomers of biflaviolin in wild-type CYP158A2. CYP158A1 containing the substitution of lysine with isoleucine has the same catalytic activity compared with the wild-type CYP158A1. The crystal structure of Ile87Lys showed that the BC loop in the mutant is in a very different orientation compared with the BC loop in both CYP158A1/A2 structures. These results shed light on the mechanism of the oxidative coupling reaction catalyzed by cytochrome P450.
Cytochrome P450; Oxidative coupling reaction; CYP158A1; CYP158A2; Regiospecificity
Recently, cytochrome P450 170A1 (CYP170A1) has been found to be a bifunctional protein, which catalyzes both monooxygenase activity and terpene synthase activity by two distinct active sites in the well established P450 protein structure. Therefore, CYP170A1 is identified clearly as a moonlighting protein. The known activities of a small number of the 13,000 members of the P450 superfamily fall into two general classes; promiscuous enzymes that are not considered as moonlighting and forms that participate in biosynthesis of endogenous compounds, such as steroids, vitamins and play different roles in different tissues, sometimes being moonlighting enzymes. Here we review examples of moonlighting P450, which add to our understanding of the large cytochrome P450 superfamily.
CYP51 (sterol 14α-demethylase) is a cytochrome P450 enzyme essential for sterol biosynthesis and the primary target for clinical and agricultural antifungal azoles. The azoles that are currently in clinical use for systemic fungal infections represent modifications of two basic scaffolds, ketoconazole and fluconazole, all of them being selected based on their antiparasitic activity in cellular experiments. By studying direct inhibition of CYP51 activity across phylogeny including human pathogens Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum, we identified three novel protozoa-specific inhibitory scaffolds, their inhibitory potency correlating well with antiprotozoan activity. VNI scaffold (carboxamide containing β-phenyl-imidazoles) is the most promising among them: killing T. cruzi amastigotes at low nanomolar concentration, it is also easy to synthesize and nontoxic. Oral administration of VNI (up to 400 mg/kg) neither leads to mortality nor reveals significant side effects up to 48 h post treatment using an experimental mouse model of acute toxicity. Trypanosomatidae CYP51 crystal structures determined in the ligand-free state and complexed with several azole inhibitors as well as a substrate analog revealed high rigidity of the CYP51 substrate binding cavity, which must be essential for the enzyme strict substrate specificity and functional conservation. Explaining profound potency of the VNI inhibitory scaffold, the structures also outline guidelines for its further development. First steps of the VNI scaffold optimization have been undertaken; the results presented here support the notion that CYP51 structure-based rational design of more efficient, pathogen-specific inhibitors represents a highly promising direction.
Sterol 14α-demethylase; CYP51; Inhibition; Crystal structure
Trypanosoma brucei is the protozoan parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis, a neglected disease of people and animals. Co-metabolite analysis, labelling studies using [methyl-2H3]-methionine and substrate/product specificities of the cloned 24-SMT (sterol C24-methyltransferase) and 14-SDM (sterol C14-demethylase) from T. brucei afforded an uncommon sterol metabolic network that proceeds from lanosterol and 31-norlanosterol to ETO [ergosta-5,7,25(27)-trien-3β-ol], 24-DTO [dimethyl ergosta-5,7,25(27)-trienol] and ergosterol [ergosta-5,7,22(23)-trienol]. To assess the possible carbon sources of ergosterol biosynthesis, specifically 13C-labelled specimens of lanosterol, acetate, leucine and glucose were administered to T. brucei and the 13C distributions found were in accord with the operation of the acetate–mevalonate pathway, with leucine as an alternative precursor, to ergostenols in either the insect or bloodstream form. In searching for metabolic signatures of procyclic cells, we observed that the 13C-labelling treatments induce fluctuations between the acetyl-CoA (mitochondrial) and sterol (cytosolic) synthetic pathways detected by the progressive increase in 13C-ergosterol production (control <[2-13C]leucine<[2-13C]acetate<[1-13C]glucose) and corresponding depletion of cholesta-5,7,24-trienol. We conclude that anabolic fluxes originating in mitochondrial metabolism constitute a flexible part of sterol synthesis that is further fluctuated in the cytosol, yielding distinct sterol profiles in relation to cell demands on growth.
[1-13C]glucose; ergosterol biosynthesis; sterol C24-methyltransferase; sterol C14-demethylase; Trypanosoma brucei; trypanosome
There are at least two obvious features that must be considered upon targeting specific metabolic pathways/enzymes for drug development: the pathway must be essential and the enzyme must allow the design of pharmacologically useful inhibitors. Here, we describe Trypanosoma cruzi sterol 14α-demethylase as a promising target for anti-Chagasic chemotherapy. The use of anti-fungal azoles, which block sterol biosynthesis and therefore membrane formation in fungi, against the protozoan parasite has turned out to be highly successful: a broad spectrum anti-fungal drug, the triazole compound posaconazole, is now entering phase II clinical trials for treatment of Chagas disease. This review summarizes comparative information on anti-fungal azoles and novel inhibitory scaffolds selective for Trypanosomatidae sterol 14α-demethylase through the lens of recent structure/functional characterization of the target enzyme. We believe our studies open wide opportunities for rational design of novel, pathogen-specific and therefore more potent and efficient anti-trypanosomal drugs.
A cysteine was introduced into the FG-loop (P187C) of CYP51 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MT) for selective labeling with BODIPY and fluorescence energy transfer (FRET) analysis. Forster radius for the BODIPY-heme pair was calculated assuming that the distance between the heme and Cys187 in solution corresponds to that in the crystal structure of ligand free MTCYP51. Interaction of MTCYP51 with azole inhibitors ketoconazole and fluconazole or the substrate analog estriol did not influence the fluorescence, but titration with the substrate lanosterol quenched BODIPY emission, the effect being proportional to the portion of substrate-bound MTCYP51. The detected changes correspond to ~10 Å decrease in the calculated distance between BODIPY-Cys187 and the heme. The results confirm 1) functional importance of conformational motions in the MTCYP51 F/G segment and 2) applicability of FRET to monitor them in solution.
Cytochrome P450; sterol 14α-demethylase; ligand binding; conformational changes; FRET
Pathogenic protozoa threaten lives of several hundred million people throughout the world and are responsible for large numbers of deaths globally. The parasites are transmitted to humans by insect vectors, more than a hundred of infected mammalian species forming reservoir. With human migrations, HIV-coinfections, and blood bank contamination the diseases are now spreading beyond the endemic tropical countries, being found in all parts of the world including the USA, Canada and Europe. In spite of the widely appreciated magnitude of this health problem, current treatment for sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi) and leishmaniasis (Leishmania spp.) remains unsatisfactory. The drugs are decades old, their efficacy and safety profiles are unacceptable. This review describes sterol 14α-demethylase, an essential enzyme in sterol biosynthesis in eukaryotes and clinical target for antifungal azoles, as a promising target for antiprotozoan chemotherapy. While several antifungal azoles have been proven active against Trypanosomatidae and are under consideration as antiprotozoan agents, crystal structures of sterol 14α-demethylases from three protozoan pathogens, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania infantum provide the basis for the development of new, highly potent and pathogen-specific drugs with rationally optimized pharmacological properties.
Antiprotozoan chemotherapy; crystal structure; enzyme inhibitors; leishmaniasis; sterol 14alpha-demethylase (CYP51); sterol biosynthesis; trypanosomiasis
The CYP51 family is an intriguing subject for fundamental P450 structure/function studies and is also an important clinical drug target. This review updates information on the variety of the CYP51 family members, including their physiological roles, natural substrates and substrate preferences, and catalytic properties in vitro. We present experimental support for the notion that specific conserved regions in the P450 sequences represent a CYP51 signature. Two possible roles of CYP51 in P450 evolution are discussed and the major approaches for CYP51 inhibition are summarized.
sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51); sterol biosynthesis; substrate preferences; catalytic activity; inhibition
Sterol 14α-demethylases (14DM) comprise the CYP51 cytochrome P450 genome family. The 14DM reaction is essential for the biosynthesis of sterols which are necessary for production of cellular membranes. This is the most widely distributed P450, being present in all biological kingdoms. From one kingdom to another the primary amino acid sequence identity usually ranges between 30-20%. In this minireview we describe the conservation of specific amino acids and the various CYP51 orthologs and indicate the roles that they may play in the structure/function of this monooxygenase. The prediction of the roles of different amino acids in 14DM is based on high resolution tertiary structures of these enzymes which set the stage for detailed understanding of the 14α-demethylase reaction and its selective, phyla-specific inhibition which is crucial for the design of potent inhibitors for treatment of infection by pathogenic microbes.
cytochrome P450; sterol 14α-demethylase; CYP51; crystal structure
Coelibactin is a putative non-ribosomally synthesized peptide with predicted zincophore activity and which has been implicated in antibiotic regulation in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). The coelibactin biosynthetic pathway contains a stereo- and regio-specific monooxygenation step catalyzed by a cytochrome P450 enzyme (CYP105N1). We have determined the X-ray crystal structure of CYP105N1 at 2.9 Å and analyzed it in the context of the bacterial CYP105 family as a whole. The crystal structure reveals a channel between the α-helical domain and the β-sheet domain exposing the heme pocket and the long helix I to the solvent. This wide-open conformation of CYP105N1 may be related to the bulky substrate coelibactin. The ligand-free CYP105N1 structure has enough room in the substrate access channel to allow the coelibactin to enter into the active site. Analysis of typical siderophore ligands suggests that CYP105N1 may produce derivatives of coelibactin, which would then be able to chelate the zinc divalent cation.
cytochrome P450; CYP105N1; siderophore; Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2); zinc chelation
The pikromycin (Pik)/methymycin biosynthetic pathway of Streptomyces venezuelae represents a valuable system for dissecting the fundamental mechanisms of modular polyketide biosynthesis, aminodeoxysugar assembly, glycosyltransfer, and hydroxylation leading to the production of a series of macrolide antibiotics, including the natural ketolides narbomycin and pikromycin. In this study, we describe four x-ray crystal structures and allied functional studies for PikC, the remarkable P450 monooxygenase responsible for production of a number of related macrolide products from the Pik pathway. The results provide important new insights into the structural basis for the C10/C12, and C12/C14 hydroxylation patterns for the 12- (YC-17) and 14-membered ring (narbomycin) macrolides, respectively. This includes two different ligand-free structures in an asymmetric unit (resolution 2.1 Å) and two co-crystal structures with bound endogenous substrates YC-17 (resolution 2.35 Å) or narbomycin (resolution 1.7 Å). A central feature of the enzyme-substrate interaction involves anchoring of the desosamine residue in two alternative binding pockets based on a series of distinct amino acid residues that form a salt bridge and a hydrogen bonding network with the deoxysugar C3′ dimethylamino group. Functional significance of the salt bridge was corroborated by site-directed mutagenesis that revealed a key role for E94 in YC-17 binding, and E85 for narbomycin binding. Taken together, the x-ray structure analysis, site-directed mutagenesis and corresponding product distribution studies reveal that PikC substrate tolerance, and product diversity result from a combination of alternative anchoring modes, rather than an induced fit mechanism.
The gene from Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) encoding CYP102B1, a recently discovered CYP102 subfamily which exists solely as a single P450 heme domain, has been cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, purified, characterized, and compared to its fusion protein family members. Purified reconstitution metabolism experiments with spinach ferredoxin, ferredoxin reductase, and NADPH revealed differences in the regio- and stereoselective metabolism of arachidonic acid compared to that of CYP102A1, exclusively producing 11,12-epoxyeicosa-5,8,14-trienoic acid in addition to the shared metabolites 18-hydroxy arachidonic acid and 14,15-epoxyeicosa-5,8,11-trienoic acid. Consequently, in order to elucidate the physiological function of CYP102B1, transposon mutagenesis was used to generate an S. coelicolor A3(2) strain lacking CYP102B1 activity and the phenotype was assessed.
Trypanosoma cruzi (TC) causes Chagas disease, which in its chronic stage remains incurable. We have shown recently that specific inhibition of TC sterol 14α-demethylase (TCCYP51) with imidazole derivatives is effective in killing both extracellular and intracellular human stages of TC. An alternative set of TCCYP51 inhibitors has been identified using optical high throughput screening followed by web-database search for similar structures. The best TCCYP51 inhibitor from this search was found to have structural similarity to a class of cyclooxygenase-2-selective inhibitors, the indomethacin-amides. A number of indomethacin-amides were found to bind to TCCYP51, inhibit its activity in vitro and produce strong antiparasitic effects in the cultured TC cells. Analysis of TC sterol composition indicated that the mode of action of the compounds is by inhibition of sterol biosynthesis in the parasite.
Phosphorylation of the cytochrome P450 aromatase has been proposed as a switch to rapidly modulate enzymatic activity and estrogen biosynthesis. Herein, we demonstrate that aromatase serine-118 is a potential phosphorylation site in mammalian cells. The amino acid context surrounding S118 is highly conserved among diverse animal species and suggests that an AGC-like kinase may phosphorylate aromatase. Mutation of S118 to Ala blocked phosphorylation. Mutation of S118 to either Ala or Asp destabilized aromatase, indicating an important structural role for S118. The phosphomimetic S118D mutant showed decreased specific enzymatic activity, decreased Vmax, and increased Km, while the S118A phospho-inhibiting mutant showed opposite effects. Our findings suggest that phosphorylation of S118 may decrease aromatase activity, presenting a mechanism whereby kinase signaling may modulate estrogen production and hormone balance.
aromatase; phosphorylation; estrogen synthase; post-translational modification
The genome sequence of the giant virus Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus revealed the presence of two putative cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes. The product of one of the two predicted CYP genes (YP_143162) showed low-level homology to sterol 14-demethylase (CYP51) and contained a C-terminal polypeptide domain of unknown function. YP_143162 expression (without an N-terminal membrane binding domain) in Escherichia coli yields a CYP protein which gives a reduced CO difference maximum at 448 nm and was formally demonstrated as the first viral cytochrome P450. Analysis of binding of lipid and sterol substrates indicated no perturbation in CYP heme environment, and an absence of activity was seen when 14-methyl sterols were used as a substrate. The function of the CYP protein and its C-terminal domain remain unknown.
In this communication, we document the self-assembly of heterologously expressed truncated human aromatase (CYP19) into nanometer scale phospholipids bilayers (Nanodiscs). The resulting P450 CYP19 preparation is stable, and can tightly associate the substrate androstenedione to form a nearly complete high-spin ferric protein. Ferrous CYP19 in Nanodiscs was mixed anaerobically in a rapid-scan stopped-flow with atmospheric dioxygen and the formation of the ferrous-oxy complex observed. First order decay of the oxy-complex to release superoxide and regenerate the ferric enzyme was monitored kinetically. Surprisingly, the ferrous-oxy complex of aromatase is more stable that of hepatic CYP3A4, opening the path to precisely determine the biochemical and biophysical properties of the reaction cycle intermediates in this important human drug target.
A role for a deficit in transport actions of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) in hypertension is supported by the following: (1) diminished renal 20-HETE in Dahl-S rats; (2) altered salt- and furosemide-induced 20-HETE responses in salt-sensitive hypertensive subjects; and (3) increased population risk for hypertension in C allele carriers of the T8590C polymorphism of CYP4A11, which encodes an enzyme with reduced catalytic activity. We determined T8590C genotypes in 32 hypertensive subjects, 25 of whom were phenotyped for salt sensitivity of blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. Urine 20-HETE was lowest in insulin-resistant, salt-sensitive subjects (F=5.56; P<0.02). Genotypes were 13 TT, 2 CC, and 17 CT. C allele frequency was 32.8% (blacks: 38.9%; whites: 25.0%). C carriers (CC+CT) and TT subjects were similarly distributed among salt- and insulin-sensitivity phenotypes. C carriers had higher diastolic blood pressures and aldosterone:renin and waist:hip ratios but lower furosemide-induced fractional excretions of Na and K than TT. The T8590C genotype did not relate to sodium balance or pressure natriuresis. However, C carriers, compared with TT, had diminished 20-HETE responses to salt loading after adjustment for serum insulin concentration and resetting of the negative relationship between serum insulin and urine 20-HETE to a 1-μg/h lower level of 20-HETE. The effect of C was insulin independent and equipotent to 18 μU/mL of insulin (Δ20-HETE=2.84-0.054×insulin-0.98×C; r2=0.53; F=11.1; P<0.001). Hence, genetic (T8590C) and environmental (insulin) factors impair 20-HETE responses to salt in human hypertension. We propose that genotype analyses with sufficient homozygous CC will establish definitive relationships among 20-HETE, salt sensitivity of blood pressure, and insulin resistance.
hypertension; obesity; arachidonic acid; cytochrome P450; insulin; insulin resistance
Sterol 14α-demethylases (CYP51) serve as primary targets for antifungal drugs and specific inhibition of CYP51s in protozoan parasites Trypanosoma brucei (TB) and Trypanosoma cruzi (TC) might provide an effective treatment strategy for human trypanosomiases. Primary inhibitor selection is based initially on the cytochrome P450 spectral response to ligand binding. Ligands which demonstrate strongest binding parameters were examined as inhibitors of reconstituted TB and TC CYP51 activity in vitro. Direct correlation between potency of the compounds as CYP51 inhibitors and their antiparasitic effect in TB and TC cells implies essential requirements for endogenous sterol production in both trypanosomes and suggests a novel lead structure with a defined region most promising for further modifications. The approach developed here can be used for further large-scale search for new CYP51 inhibitors.
Sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51), a major checkpoint in membrane sterol biosynthesis, is a key target for fungal antibiotic therapy. We sought small organic molecules for lead candidate CYP51 inhibitors. The changes in CYP51 spectral properties following ligand binding make CYP51 a convenient target for high-throughput screening technologies. These changes are characteristic of either substrate binding (type I) or inhibitor binding (type II) in the active site. We screened a library of 20,000 organic molecules against Mycobacterium tuberculosis CYP51 (CYP51Mt), examined the top type I and type II binding hits for their inhibitory effects on M. tuberculosis in broth culture, and analyzed them spectrally for their ability to discriminate between CYP51Mt and two reference M. tuberculosis CYP proteins, CYP130 and CYP125. We determined the binding mode for one of the top type II hits, α-ethyl-N-4-pyridinyl-benzeneacetamide (EPBA), by solving the X-ray structure of the CYP51Mt-EPBA complex to a resolution of 1.53 Å. EPBA binds coordinately to the heme iron in the CYP51Mt active site through a lone pair of nitrogen electrons and also through hydrogen bonds with residues H259 and Y76, which are invariable in the CYP51 family, and hydrophobic interactions in a phylum- and/or substrate-specific cavity of CYP51. We also identified a second compound with structural and binding properties similar to those of EPBA, 2-(benzo[d]-2,1,3-thiadiazole-4-sulfonyl)-2-amino-2-phenyl-N-(pyridinyl-4)-acetamide (BSPPA). The congruence between the geometries of EPBA and BSPPA and the CYP51 binding site singles out EPBA and BSPPA as lead candidate CYP51 inhibitors with optimization potential for efficient discrimination between host and pathogen enzymes.
Functional and biochemical data have suggested a role for the cytochrome P450 arachidonate monooxygenases in the pathophysiology of hypertension, a leading cause of cardiovascular, cerebral, and renal morbidity and mortality. We show here that disruption of the murine cytochrome P450, family 4, subfamily a, polypeptide 10 (Cyp4a10) gene causes a type of hypertension that is, like most human hypertension, dietary salt sensitive. Cyp4a10–/– mice fed low-salt diets were normotensive but became hypertensive when fed normal or high-salt diets. Hypertensive Cyp4a10–/– mice had a dysfunctional kidney epithelial sodium channel and became normotensive when administered amiloride, a selective inhibitor of this sodium channel. These studies (a) establish a physiological role for the arachidonate monooxygenases in renal sodium reabsorption and blood pressure regulation, (b) demonstrate that a dysfunctional Cyp4a10 gene causes alterations in the gating activity of the kidney epithelial sodium channel, and (c) identify a conceptually novel approach for studies of the molecular basis of human hypertension. It is expected that these results could lead to new strategies for the early diagnosis and clinical management of this devastating disease.
The cytochrome P540 (CYP) superfamily currently includes about 9,000 proteins forming more than 800 families. The enzymes catalyze monooxygenation of a vast array of compounds and play essentially two roles. They provide biodefense (detoxification of xenobiotics, antibiotic production) and participate in biosynthesis of important endogenous molecules, particularly steroids. Based on these two roles, sterol 14|*alpha*|-demethylases (CYP51) belong to the second group of P450s. The CYP51 family, however, is very special as its members preserve strict functional conservation in enzyme activity in all biological kingdoms. At amino acid identity across the kingdoms as low as 25–30%, they all catalyze essentially the same three-step reaction of oxidative removal of the 14|*alpha*|-methyl group from the lanostane frame. This reaction is the required step in sterol biosynthesis of pathogenic microbes. We have shown that specific inhibition of protozoan CYP51 can potentially provide treatment for human trypanosomiases. Three sets of CYP51 inhibitors tested in vitro and in trypanosomal cells in this study include azoles [best results being 50% cell growth inhibition at <1 and at 1.3 µM for Trypanosoma cruzi (TC) and Trypanosoma brucei (TB), respectively], non-azole compounds (50% TC cell growth inhibition at 5 µM) and substrate analogs of the 14|*alpha*|-demethylase reaction. 32-Methylene cyclopropyl lanost-7-enol exhibited selectivity toward TC with 50% cell growth inhibition at 3 µM.
Cytochrome P450 (CYP51); Sterol biosynthesis; Sterol 14α-demethylase; Enzymatic activity; Inhibition; Sleeping sickness; Chagas disease; Antifungal agents; Antitrypanosomal drugs