Interflavin electron transfer in human cytochrome P450 reductase is enhanced by coenzyme binding: Relaxation kinetic studies with coenzyme analogues

Aldo Gutierrez, Andrew W. Munro, Alex Grunau, C. Roland Wolf, Nigel S. Scrutton, Gordon C K Roberts

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    The role of coenzyme binding in regulating interflavin electron transfer in human cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) has been studied using temperature-jump spectroscopy. Previous studies [Gutierrez, A., Paine, M., Wolf, C.R., Scrutton, N.S., & Roberts, G.C.K. Biochemistry (2002) 41, 4626-4637] have shown that the observed rate, 1/τ, of interflavin electron transfer (FADsq - FMNsq → FADox - FMNhq) in CPR reduced at the two-electron level with NADPH is 55 ± 2 s-1, whereas with dithionite-reduced enzyme the observed rate is 11 ± 0.5 s-1, suggesting that NADPH (or NADP+) binding has an important role in controlling the rate of internal electron transfer. In relaxation experiments performed with CPR reduced at the two-electron level with NADH, the observed rate of internal electron transfer (1/τ = 18 ± 0.7 s-1) is intermediate in value between those seen with dithionite-reduced and NADPH-reduced enzyme, indicating that the presence of the 2′-phosphate is important for enhancing internal electron transfer. To investigate this further, temperature jump experiments were performed with dithionite-reduced enzyme in the presence of 2′,5′-ADP and 2′-AMP. These two ligands increase the observed rate of interflavin electron transfer in two-electron reduced CPR from 1/τ = 11 s-1 to 35 ± 0.2 s-1 and 32 ± 0.6 s-1 respectively. Reduction of CPR at the two-electron level by NADPH, NADH or dithionite generates the same spectral species, consistent with an electron distribution that is equivalent regardless of reductant at the initiation of the temperature jump. Spectroelectrochemical experiments establish that the redox potentials of the flavins of CPR are unchanged on binding 2′,5′-ADP, supporting the view that enhanced rates of interdomain electron transfer have their origin in a conformational change produced by binding NADPH or its fragments. Addition of 2′,5′-ADP either to the isolated FAD-domain or to full-length CPR (in their oxidized and reduced forms) leads to perturbation of the optical spectra of both the flavins, consistent with a conformational change that alters the environment of these redox cofactors. The binding of 2′,5′-ADP eliminates the unusual dependence of the observed flavin reduction rate on NADPH concentration (i.e. enhanced at low coenzyme concentration) observed in stopped-flow studies. The data are discussed in the context of previous kinetic studies and of the crystallographic structure of rat CPR.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2612-2621
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


    • Coenzyme binding
    • Cytochrome P450 reductase
    • Electron transfer
    • Flavoprotein
    • Temperature-jump relaxation spectroscopy


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