Lipid composition and macromolecular crowding effects on CYP2J2-mediated drug metabolism in nanodiscs

Hannah C. Huff, Demetri Maroutsos, Aditi Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipid composition and macromolecular crowding are key external effectors of protein activity and stability whose role varies between different proteins. Therefore, it is imperative to study their effects on individual protein function. CYP2J2 is a membrane-bound cytochrome P450 in the heart involved in the metabolism of fatty acids and xenobiotics. In order to facilitate this metabolism, cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR), transfers electrons to CYP2J2 from NADPH. Herein, we use nanodiscs to show that lipid composition of the membrane bilayer affects substrate metabolism of the CYP2J2-CPR nanodisc (ND) system. Differential effects on both NADPH oxidation and substrate metabolism by CYP2J2-CPR are dependent on the lipid composition. For instance, sphingomyelin containing nanodiscs produced more secondary substrate metabolites than discs of other lipid compositions, implying a possible conformational change leading to processive metabolism. Furthermore, we demonstrate that macromolecular crowding plays a role in the lipid-solubilized CYP2J2-CPR system by increasing the K m and decreasing the V max , and effect that is size-dependent. Crowding also affects the CYP2J2-CPR-ND system by decreasing both the K m and V max for Dextran-based macromolecular crowding agents, implying an increase in substrate affinity but a lack of metabolism. Finally, protein denaturation studies show that crowding agents destabilize CYP2J2, while the multidomain protein CPR is stabilized. Overall, these studies are the first report on the role of the surrounding lipid environment and macromolecular crowding in modulating enzymatic function of CYP2J2-CPR membrane protein system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-940
Number of pages13
JournalProtein Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • CYP2J2
  • cytochrome P450
  • lipid bilayer
  • macromolecular crowding
  • protein–protein interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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