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Heterotropic Cooperativity in Oxidation Mediated by Cytochrome P450

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 5 ]


Toshiro Niwa, Norie Murayama and Hiroshi Yamazaki   Pages 453 - 462 ( 10 )


Cytochrome P450s (P450 or CYPs) comprise a superfamily of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of a wide variety of xenobiotic chemicals. Although most of P450 inhibitors decrease the metabolic activities mediated by the corresponding P450 forms, unexpected phenomena, which are called as activation or heterotropic cooperativity, have been often observed. We summarize Michaelis-Menten constants (Km), maximal velocities (Vmax), Vmax/Km (intrinsic clearance) values, and/or metabolic activities for 22 activators and 24 substrates (30 reactions) mainly mediated by CYP3A4 among human P450 forms. Although an allosteric mechanism has been invoked to explain the cooperativity, the activation patterns or phenomena are dependent on substrates and selected enzyme sources in vitro. Interestingly, recent studies have been shown that human P450 forms other than CYP3A4, such as CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2D6, and CYP3A7, are also activated by some compounds, whereas there are few reports on CYP3A5. Several models describing interaction among substrates, effectors, and enzymes have been proposed, however, the detailed mechanism for the activation is still generally unknown even though some crystal structures have been shown. A few cases of the cooperativity of CYP3A in experimental animals have been presented, whereas the clinical significance of P450 cooperativity is still unclear. The collective findings provide fundamental and useful information for the activation of P450s by chemicals despite some contradictive kinetic parameters for the same reactions reported. To understand causal factor( s) and mechanism(s) for such different reports summarized here is still one of the hot research topics to be solved in current activation reactions.


cytochrome P450, CYP3A4, cooperativity, activation, metabolic activity


Showa Pharmaceutical University,3-3165 Higashi-tamagawa Gakuen, Machida, Tokyo 194-8543,Japan.

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