Yan Pan, Badrul Amini Abd-Rashid, Zakiah Ismail, Rusli Ismail, Joon Wah Mak and Chin Eng Ong (2011). Heterologous expression of human cytochromes P450 2D6 and CYP3A4 in Escherichia coli and their functional characterization. Protein Journal 30(8): 581-591
This study aimed to express two major drug-metabolizing human hepatic cytochromes P450 (CYPs), CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, together with NADPH-cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (OxR) in Escherichia coli and to evaluate their catalytic activities. Full length cDNA clones of both isoforms in which the N-terminus was modified to incorporate bovine CYP17? sequence were inserted into a pCWori(+) vector. The modified CYP cDNAs were subsequently expressed individually, each together with OxR by means of separate, compatible plasmids with different antibiotic selection markers. The expressed proteins were evaluated by immunoblotting and reduced CO difference spectral scanning. Enzyme activities were examined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assays with probe substrates dextromethorphan and testosterone for CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, respectively. Results from immunoblotting demonstrated the presence of both CYP proteins in bacterial membranes and reduced CO difference spectra of the cell preparations exhibited the characteristic absorbance peak at 450 nm. Co-expressed OxR also demonstrated an activity level comparable to literature values. Kinetic parameters, K(m) and V(max) values determined from the HPLC assays also agreed well with literature values. As a conclusion, the procedures described in this study provide a relatively convenient and reliable means of producing catalytically active CYP isoforms suitable for drug metabolism and interaction studies.