We have isolated from rabbit liver three cDNA clones of 1400-1800 base pairs that hybridize selectively to RNA from animals treated with phenobarbital. The nu-cleotide sequences of the cDNAs have been determined. In the protein coding region the nucleotide sequences of two of the cDNAs are 88% homologous, and the third cDNA is about 72-74% homologous to the other two. All three are 55-60% homologous to rat liver cytochrome P-450b cDNA. The amino acid sequences derived from the cDNA sequences are about 50% homologous to those of rat liver cytochrome P-450b and rabbit liver cytochrome P-450 (form 2). The degree of homology differs substantially in different regions of the protein. The hydrophobicity profiles of these five mammalian cytochromes P-450 are very similar and contain up to eight regions of hydrophobicity that are long enough to span a membrane. These results indicate that these three cDNAs code for rabbit liver cytochromes P-450 which are different from any rabbit liver cytochrome P-450 for which amino acid sequence information is published. These cDNAs are part of a family of genes that are related to rabbit liver cytochrome P-450 (form 2) and rat liver cytochrome P-450b which are the major phenobarbital-inducible forms. The divergence of amino acid sequence between the rat and rabbit forms and the divergence of nucleotide sequences of silent sites in the two most closely related rabbit forms suggest that cytochromes P-450 have a relatively high rate of amino acid divergence compared to many other vertebrate proteins.
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