Efficient assembly of functional cytochrome P450 2C2 requires a spacer sequence between the N-terminal signal anchor and catalytic domains

Ci Di Chen, Balraj Doray, Byron Kemper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytochromes P450 (P450) are anchored to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane by an N-terminal transmembrane sequence with the catalytic domain facing the cytoplasmic side. Within the peptide sequence linking these two domains in P450 2C2 is a glycine-rich region from residues 22 to 28. To examine the role of this region, deletion and substitution mutations were constructed, and the activities and spectral properties were determined for the mutant proteins expressed in COS-1 cells, insect cells, and bacteria. Deletion of residues 22 to 28 or substitution of 7 valines for this region inactivated the proteins in COS-1 cells, and no P450 species was detected for these mutations in bacteria or insect cells. Substitution of the three glycine residues with alanine or proline or the entire sequence from 22 to 28 with 7 alanines did not reduce lauric acid hydroxylase activity of the proteins expressed in COS-1 cells. Reducing the number of alanines substituted to 4, 3, and 2 progressively decreased activity in COS-1 cells to undetectable levels when 2 alanines were substituted. The loss of activity in COS-1 cells correlated with decreased expression of hemoprotein with a reduced difference spectrum of 450 nm (P450 species) and a corresponding increase in the inactive P420 species in insect cells and bacteria. The activities expressed per nanomole of P450 in insect microsomes were similar for P450 2C2 and the alanine substitution mutants, including the mutant with 2 alanines which was inactive in COS-1 cells. The rates of conversion of P450 to P420 resulting from incubation at 48 °C in vitro were not changed sufficiently to explain the increase in expressed P420 observed for the mutants with 3 or 7 alanines substituted. These data are consistent with a role for the residue 22-28 region as a linker that facilitates the folding of P450; however, once the protein is properly folded into the functional P450 species, this region has little influence on the stability and activity of the enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22891-22897
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 5 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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