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

Procedures for measuring cytochrome P-450-dependent hydroxylation activity in reproductive tissues.

Cytochrome P-450 is present in the endoplasmic reticulum at varying concentrations in almost all tissues. However, the existence and role of cytochrome P-450 in normal and neoplastic reproductive tissues has not been clearly demonstrated. Our interest lies in the possibility that variations in cytochrome P-450 levels may influence the responsiveness of breast and endometrial carcinomas to endocrine therapy. This may be of particular importance with agents such as tamoxifen where hydroxylation reactions are known to alter therapeutic activities. Therefore, a simple, sensitive spectrophotometric assay for determining levels of cytochrome P-450-dependent cyclohexane hydroxylase activity in breast and uterine microsomes has been developed. Cyclohexane was chosen as a substrate because of the relatively high levels of cyclohexane hydroxylase activity in tumor microsomes and because cyclohexane serves as a substrate for several forms of cytochrome P-450. In order to confirm the results of the spectrophotometric assay, a direct method utilizing isotope dilution gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (GC/MS) has been developed for detecting low levels of the hydroxylated product, cyclohexanol. By employing a stable isotopically labeled analog of cyclohexanol (cyclohexanol-d12), good agreement was demonstrated between the simple, indirect method (measuring NADPH oxidation at 340 nm) and the more complex, direct method (measuring cyclohexanol formation) utilizing GC/MS. The agreement of results obtained using these two techniques indicates that they are equally valid measures of NADPH-dependent cyclohexane hydroxylase activity. The use of the spectrophotometric method is proposed for rapid, multiple assays such as in the clinical setting, reserving GC/MS analysis for use as a research tool.[1]


  1. Procedures for measuring cytochrome P-450-dependent hydroxylation activity in reproductive tissues. Senler, T.I., Dean, W.L., Pierce, W.M., Wittliff, J.L. Anal. Biochem. (1985) [Pubmed]
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