Interactions among cytochromes P450 in microsomal membranes: Oligomerization of cytochromes P4503A4,3A5, and 2E1 and its functional consequences

Dmitri R. Davydov, Nadezhda Y. Davydova, Elena V. Sineva, James R. Halpert

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47 Scopus citations


The body of evidence of physiologically relevant P450-P450 interactions in microsomal membranes continues to grow. Here we probe oligomerization of human CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP2E1 in microsomal membranes. Using a technique based on luminescence resonance energy transfer, we demonstrate that all three proteins are subject to a concentration-dependent equilibrium between the monomeric and oligomeric states. We also observed the formation of mixed oligomers in CYP3A4/CYP3A5, CYP3A4/CYP2E1, and CYP3A5/CYP2E1 pairs and demonstrated that the association of either CYP3A4 or CYP3A5 with CYP2E1 causes activation of the latter enzyme. Earlier we hypothesized that the intersubunit interface in CYP3A4 oligomers is similar to that observed in the crystallographic dimers of some microsomal drug-metabolizing cytochromes P450 (Davydov, D. R., Davydova, N. Y., Sineva, E. V., Kufareva, I., and Halpert, J. R. (2013) Pivotal role of P450-P450 interactions in CYP3A4 allostery: the case of α-naphthoflavone. Biochem. J. 453, 219-230). Here we report the results of intermolecular cross-linking of CYP3A4 oligomers with thiol-reactive bifunctional reagents as well as the luminescence resonance energy transfer measurements of interprobe distances in the oligomers of labeled CYP3A4 single-cysteine mutants. The results provide compelling support for the physiological relevance of the dimer-specific peripheral ligand-binding site observed in certain CYP3A4 structures. According to our interpretation, these results reveal an important general mechanism that regulates the activity and substrate specificity of the cytochrome P450 ensemble through interactions between multiple P450 species. As a result of P450-P450 cross-talk, the catalytic properties of the cytochrome P450 ensemble cannot be predicted by simple summation of the properties of the individual P450 species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3850-3868
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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