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

Isolation and reconstitution of the heme-thiolate protein obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase from Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.

The heme-thiolate ( cytochrome P450) enzyme which catalyzes the 14alpha-demethylation of obtusifoliol has been isolated from microsomes prepared from etiolated seedlings of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. The obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase is a key enzyme in plant sterol biosynthesis and a target for the design of phyla-specific sterol 14alpha-demethylase inhibitors. Microsomal cytochrome P450s were solubilized by using the detergents Renex 690 and reduced Triton X-100, and the obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase was isolated by DEAE ion exchange and dye affinity column chromatography. The isolated enzyme has an absorption spectrum characteristic for low spin cytochrome P450s and produces a Type I binding spectrum with obtusifoliol as substrate. Binding spectra were not obtained with lanosterol, campesterol, sitosterol, or stigmasterol. Obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase has an apparent molecular mass of 53 kDa and is estimated to constitute approximately 20% of the total cytochrome P450 content of the microsomal membranes and about 0.2% of the total microsomal protein. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of reconstitution experiments with dilauroylphosphatidylcholine micelles containing isolated obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase and sorghum NADPHcytochrome P450 oxidoreductase demonstrated the conversion of obtusifoliol (4alpha,14alpha-dimethyl-5alpha-ergosta-8, 24(28)-dien-3beta-ol) to 4alpha-methyl-5alpha-ergosta-8,14, 24(28)-trien3beta-ol, the 14alpha-demethylated product of obtusifoliol with a double bond introduced at the Delta14 position. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein is MDLADIPQ/KQQRLMAGXALVV. Five internal sequences were obtained after endoproteinase Lys-C and Glu-C digestion. The fragment AAGAFSYISFGGGRH aligns with the unique heme binding domain of mammalian and yeast sterol 14alpha-demethylases which belong to the CYP51 family. Therefore it is conceivable that the obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase from plants also belongs to the CYP51 family, the only P450 family so far known to be conserved across the phyla.[1]


  1. Isolation and reconstitution of the heme-thiolate protein obtusifoliol 14alpha-demethylase from Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. Kahn, R.A., Bak, S., Olsen, C.E., Svendsen, I., Moller, B.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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