Characterisation of Novel Cytochrome P450 Fusion systems

  • Jacob Robinson

Student thesis: Phd


The biophysical and spectroscopic characterisation of two novel P450 fusion enzymes is reported. The first of these is CYP102A3, which is a fusion of P450 haem and cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR)-like domains and functions as a catalytically self-sufficient fatty acid hydroxylase in its host organism Bacillus subtilis. The elucidation of structural aspects of the isolated haem domain of CYP102A3 (HDCYP102A3) is described. This reveals a strong homology between HDCYP102A3 and the haem domain of the related, well studied enzyme CYP102A1 (known as BM3). Examination of the substrate binding and redox properties of HDCYP102A3 reveals variations in substrate selectivity and the influence of substrate binding over the haem-iron redox potential compared to BM3. Of particular note is the apparent cooperative binding profile displayed for some branched chain fatty acid substrates with CYP102A3. The second system characterised is CYP116B1 from Cupriavidus metallidurans, a P450 fusion with a reductase domain that resembles phthalate dioxygenase reductase (PDOR). The purification of the intact CYP116B1 enzyme, and also of its isolated haem domain (expressed from the relevant gene section), is optimised and biophysical characterisations are reported. The haem iron redox potential is found to be unusually positive (-85 mV) and the influence of thiocarbamate herbicide substrate binding upon this potential is found to be minimal, unlike the case in CYP102A£ with its fatty acid substrates and likely as a consequence of the relatively small degree of shift in haem-iron spin-state towards the high-spin form. From a panel of eight potential substrates for CYP116B1, six were found to stimulate NADPH oxidation, but only two of these were themselves oxidised by the enzyme, with hydroxylated products observable. The genetically dissected reductase domain of CYP116B1 was also expressed and purified, and kinetic studies of the reductase domain revealed a preference for NADPH over NADH coenzyme, and enables comparisons with kinetic features and coenzyme selectivity in other members of the ferredoxin reductase family of enzymes. Collectively, these studies advance our knowledge of the properties of two distinct types of P450-redox partner fusion enzymes, a growing class of enzymes with potential for biotechnological applications.
Date of Award31 Dec 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAndrew Munro (Supervisor)


  • cytochrome P450
  • thiocarbamate
  • BM3
  • CYP102
  • CYP116

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