Mixing apples and oranges: Analysis of heterotropic cooperativity in cytochrome P450 3A4

Daniel J. Frank, Ilia G. Denisov, Stephen G. Sligar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heterotropic cooperative phenomena have been documented in studies with cytochrome P450 3A4, with few attempts to quantify this behavior other than to show the apparent stimulatory effect of certain CYP3A4 substrates on the enzyme's catalytic activity for others. Here CYP3A4 solubilized in Nanodiscs is studied for its ability to interact with two substrates, α-naphthoflavone and testosterone, which produce transitions in the heme spin state with apparent spectral affinities (corrected for membrane partitioning) of 7 and 38 μM, respectively. Simultaneous addition of both substrates at fixed molar ratios allows for the separation of specific heterotropic cooperative interactions from the simple additive affinities for the given substrate ratios. The absence of any changes in the normalized spectral dissociation constant due to changes in substrate ratio reveals that the observed stimulatory effect is largely due to differences in the relative substrate affinities and the presence of additional substrate in the system, rather than any specific positive heterotropic interactions between the two substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 15 2009


  • CYP3A4
  • Cytochrome P450 3A4
  • Heterotropic cooperativity
  • Synergy
  • Testosterone
  • α-Naphthoflavone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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