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    Human cytochrome P450 2U1 (CYP2U1) is an orphan CYP that exhibits several distinctive characteristics among the 57 human CYPs with a highly conserved sequence in almost all living organisms. We compared its protein sequence with those of the 57 human CYPs and constructed a 3D structure of a full-length CYP2U1 model bound to a POPC membrane. We also performed docking experiments of arachidonic acid (AA) and N-arachidonoylserotonin (AS) in this model. The protein sequence of CYP2U1 displayed two unique characteristics when compared to those of the human CYPs, the presence of a longer N-terminal region upstream of the putative trans-membrane helix (TMH) containing 8 proline residues, and of an insert of about 20 amino acids containing 5 arginine residues between helices A' and A. Its N-terminal part upstream of TMH involved an additional short terminal helix, in a manner similar to what was reported in the crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CYP51. Our model also showed a specific interaction between the charged residues of insert AA' and phosphate groups of lipid polar heads, suggesting a possible role of this insert in substrate recruitment. Docking of AA and AS in this model showed these substrates in channel 2ac, with the terminal alkyl chain of AA or the indole ring of AS close to the heme, in agreement with the reported CYP2U1-catalyzed AA and AS hydroxylation regioselectivities. This model should be useful to find new endogenous or exogenous CYP2U1 substrates and to interpret the regioselectivity of their hydroxylation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.


    Lionel Ducassou, Laura Dhers, Gabriella Jonasson, Nicolas Pietrancosta, Jean-Luc Boucher, Daniel Mansuy, François André. Membrane-bound human orphan cytochrome P450 2U1: Sequence singularities, construction of a full 3D model, and substrate docking. Biochimie. 2017 Sep;140:166-175

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    PMID: 28743672

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