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

Epoxidation of unsaturated fatty acids by a soluble cytochrome P-450-dependent system from Bacillus megaterium.

In previous publications from this laboratory we have described a soluble, partially purified cytochrome P-450-dependent monooxygenase complex that, in the presence of NADPH and O2, catalyzes the monohydroxylation of long chain fatty acids, alcohols, and amides at the omega -1, omega -2, and omega -3 positions. We have now found that this preparation catalyzes the epoxidation as well as the hydroxylation of palmitoleic acid and a variety of other monounsaturated fatty acids. The experimental results reported here strongly support the concept that both hydroxylation and epoxidation are catalyzed by an identical cytochrome P-450 complex utilizing the same active and binding sites. Furthermore, for saturating levels of these substrates, the rate-limiting step in oxygenation does not appear to involve substrate structure. Thus, although the position and geometry of the double bond may dramatically affect the rate of epoxidation relative to hydroxylation, the combined rate of substrate oxygenation is essentially a constant independent of this ratio. Finally, we propose and present evidence for an enzyme-substrate binding model that involves polar binding of the carboxyl terminus and strong hydrophobic binding and sequestering of the terminal methyl group of the fatty acid. The three methylene carbons adjacent to the methyl group are positioned in a set geometry around the active site but the midchain region of a monounsaturated fatty acid is relatively free to interact or bind loosely with the enzyme surface in a variety of conformations. Depending on fatty acid structure, one or more of these conformations can bring the unsaturated center close enough to the active site to permit epoxidation of the double bond.[1]


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