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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Binding of thiols to microsomal cytochrome P-450.

Lipophilic thiol compounds interact spectrally with liver microsomes from phenobarbital-pretreated rats by formation of unusual optical difference spectra with peaks at 378, 471, 522 and 593 nm in the oxidized state. The binding kinetics were biphasic. The EPR spectrum of cytochrome P-450 was slightly modified but the magnitude of the low-spin signal was unchanged. n-Octanethiol competitively displaced metyrapone and n-octane from the active site of cytochrome P-450. Other thiols behaved similarly with variations in the magnitude and the affinity of the binding process. Tertiary thiols caused the formation of the high-spin cytochrome P-450 substrate complex, and model studies with myoglobin revealed that steric hindrance prevented the liganding of the tertiary thiol group to the ferric cytochrome P-450. Addition of thiols to dithionite reduced microsomes resulted in relatively small spectral changes with maxima at 449 nm typical for ligand complexes of the ferrous cytochrome. It was concluded that lipophilic thiols can be bound as ligands by at least two species of oxidized cytochrome P-450 which represent, however, not more than about one fifth of the total cytochrome P-450 content in liver microsomes from phenobarbital-pretreated rats.[1]


  1. Binding of thiols to microsomal cytochrome P-450. Nastainczyk, W., Ruf, H.H., Ullrich, V. Chem. Biol. Interact. (1976) [Pubmed]
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