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Epoxidation activities of human cytochromes P450c17 and P450c21

, : Epoxidation activities of human cytochromes P450c17 and P450c21. Biochemistry 53(48): 7531-7540

Some cytochrome P450 enzymes epoxidize unsaturated substrates, but this activity has not been described for the steroid hydroxylases. Physiologic steroid substrates, however, lack carbon-carbon double bonds in the parts of the pregnane molecules where steroidogenic hydroxylations occur. Limited data on the reactivity of steroidogenic P450s toward olefinic substrates exist, and the study of occult activities toward alternative substrates is a fundamental aspect of the growing field of combinatorial biosynthesis. We reasoned that human P450c17 (steroid 17-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase, CYP17A1), which 17- and 16α-hydroxylates progesterone, might catalyze the formation of the 16α,17-epoxide from 16,17-dehydroprogesterone (pregna-4,16-diene-3,20-dione). CYP17A1 catalyzed the novel 16α,17-epoxidation and the ordinarily minor 21-hydroxylation of 16,17-dehydroprogesterone in a 1:1 ratio. CYP17A1 mutation A105L, which has reduced progesterone 16α-hydroxylase activity, gave a 1:5 ratio of epoxide:21-hydroxylated products. In contrast, human P450c21 (steroid 21-hydroxylase, CYP21A2) converted 16,17-dehydroprogesterone to the 21-hydroxylated product and only a trace of epoxide. CYP21A2 mutation V359A, which has significant 16α-hydroxylase activity, likewise afforded the 21-hydroxylated product and slightly more epoxide. CYP17A1 wild-type and mutation A105L do not 21- or 16α-hydroxylate pregnenolone, but the enzymes 21-hydroxylated and 16α,17-epoxidized 16,17-dehydropregnenolone (pregna-5,16-diene-3β-ol-20-one) in 4:1 or 12:1 ratios, respectively. Catalase and superoxide dismutase did not prevent epoxide formation. The progesterone epoxide was not a time-dependent, irreversible CYP17A1 inhibitor. Our substrate modification studies have revealed occult epoxidase and 21-hydroxylase activities of CYP17A1, and the fraction of epoxide formed correlated with the 16α-hydroxylase activity of the enzymes.


PMID: 25386927

DOI: 10.1021/bi5011865

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