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

Binding characteristics of aromatase inhibitors and phytoestrogens to human aromatase.

We have evaluated the binding characteristics of three steroidal inhibitors [4-hydroxyandrostenedione (4-OHA), 7alpha-(4'-amino)phenylthio-1,4-androstadiene-3,17-dione (7alpha-APTADD), and bridge (2,19-methyleneoxy) androstene-3,17-dione (MDL 101,003)], four nonsteroidal inhibitors [aminoglutethimide (AG), CGS 20267, ICI D1033, and vorozole (R83842)], and two flavone phytoestrogens (chrysin, and 7,8-dihydroxyflavone) to aromatase through a combination of computer modeling and inhibitory profile studies on the wild-type and six aromatase mutants (I133Y, P308F, D309A, T310S, I395F, and I474Y). We have generated two aromatase models based on the x-ray structures of cytochrome P450-cam and cytochrome P450bm3, respectively. A major difference between the cytochrome P450cam-based and cytochrome P450bm3-based models is in the predicted lengths of helices F and G. In the cytochrome P450cam-based model, helices F and G lie antiparallel and extend across the active-site face of the molecule from one edge to the center, so that the carboxyl-terminal residues of helix F and the N-terminal residues of helix G make a major contribution to the structure of the active site. In the cytochrome P450bm3-based model, both helices are longer and so extend almost all the way across the active-site face of the molecule. Considering the size of the androgen substrate, we evaluated our results mainly based on the cytochrome P450cam model. The mutations involved in this study are thought to be at or near the proposed active site pocket. The inhibitory profile analysis has produced very interesting results and provided a molecular basis as to how seven aromatase inhibitors with different structures bind to the active site of aromatase. Furthermore, the investigation reveals that phytoestrogens bind to the active site of aromatase in a different orientation from that in the estrogen receptor.[1]


  1. Binding characteristics of aromatase inhibitors and phytoestrogens to human aromatase. Chen, S., Kao, Y.C., Laughton, C.A. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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