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A better understanding of the structure–activity relationships in insect P450 enzymes is still very distant, but the diversity of insect P450 sequences may prove useful in the engineering of P450 as biocatalysts. , 2004b). 2) and biochemical studies (Figure 7). The active site topology of CYP6A1 was studied by a technique developed in Ortiz de Montellano’s group (Ortiz de Montellano and Graham-Lorence, 1993). The enzyme is first incubated with phenyldiazene to form a phenyl–iron complex. Ferricyanide-induced in situ migration of the phenyl group to the porphyrin nitrogens causes the formation of covalent adducts, which can then be separated by HPLC (Figure 17).

The role of cytochrome b5 is discussed below. , 1998). The stoichiometry (eqn [1]) RH þ O2 þ NADPH þ Hþ ! ROH þ H2 O þ NADPþ that commonly describes the monooxygenase (sensu Hayaishi) or mixed-function oxidation (sensu Mason) reaction of P450 has not been confirmed experimentally for any insect P450. À 2 Monooxygenations Aliphatic hydroxylation C–H hydroxylation O-dealkylation Dehalogenation Epoxidation Aromatic hydroxylation Heteroatom oxidation and dealkylation Phosphorothioate ester oxidation N-dealkylation N-oxidation S-oxidation Aldehyde oxidation Complex and atypical reactions Carbon–carbon cleavage Decarbonylation with C–C cleavage Aromatization Dehydrogenation Dehydration Aldoxime dehydration Reduction Endoperoxide isomerization P450 CYP6A1 (and probably most P450) CYP4C7, CYP6A1, CYP6A2, CYP6A8, CYP12A1, CYP302A1, CYP312A1, CYP314A1, CYP315A1 CYP6A1, CYP6D1a, CYP12A1, CYP6A5, CYP6B4, CYP6B17, CYP6B21 CYP6A2 (DDT to DDA, DDD) CYP6A1, CYP6A2, CYP12A1, CYP15A1, CYP9E1 CYP6D1a CYP6A1, CYP6A2, CYP12A1, CYP6D1a CYP12A1, CYP6A5 þ (nicotine) þ (phorate) þ (C-26 hydroxyecdysteroids) þ?

The second conserved motif GxE/DTT/ S surrounds a conserved threonine in the middle of the long helix I that runs on top of the plane of the heme, over pyrrole ring B. The third conserved motif ExLR is located in helix K. , 1995). The fifth conserved motif PFxxGxRxCxG/A precedes helix L and carries the cysteine (thiolate) ligand to the heme iron on the opposite side of helix I. The cysteine ligand is responsible for the typical 450 nm (hence P450) absorption of the FeII–CO complex of P450 (Mansuy and Renaud, 1995).

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