Amino Acids

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 1195–1204 | Cite as

Structural and functional insights into polymorphic enzymes of cytochrome P450 2C8

  • Hualin Jiang
  • Fangfang Zhong
  • Lu Sun
  • Weiyue Feng
  • Zhong-Xian Huang
  • Xiangshi TanEmail author
Original Article


The cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily plays a key role in the oxidative metabolism of a wide range of drugs and exogenous chemicals. CYP2C8 is the principal enzyme responsible for the metabolism of the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel in the human liver. Nearly all previous works about polymorphic variants of CYP2C8 were focused on unpurified proteins, either cells or human liver microsomes; therefore their structure–function relationships were unclear. In this study, two polymorphic enzymes of CYP2C8 (CYP2C8.4 (I264M) and CYP2C8 P404A) were expressed in E. coli and purified. Metabolic activities of paclitaxel by the two purified polymorphic enzymes were observed. The activity of CYP2C8.4 was 25% and CYP2C8 P404A was 30% of that of WT CYP2C8, respectively. Their structure–function relationships were systematically investigated for the first time. Paclitaxel binding ability of CYP2C8.4 increased about two times while CYP2C8 P404A decreased about two times than that of WT CYP2C8. The two polymorphic mutant sites of I264 and P404, located far from active site and substrate binding sites, significantly affect heme and/or substrate binding. This study indicated that two important nonsubstrate recognition site (SRS) residues of CYP2C8 are closely related to heme binding and/or substrate binding. This discovery could be valuable for explaining clinically individual differences in the metabolism of drugs and provides instructed information for individualized medication.


Structure–function relationship Polymorphism CYP2C8 Drug metabolism Individualized medication 



We thank Prof. E.F. Johnson (The Scripps Research Institute, California, USA) for the generous gift of the pCWOri + plasmid, encoding CYP 2C8dH and Prof. J.M. Chen (Fudan University, Shanghai, China) for the generous support of paclitaxel. This work is supported in part by Shanghai Pujiang Talent Project (08PJ14017), the National Science Foundation of China (20771029), the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (B108), the Program for the Platform of new medicine creation (NO. 2009ZX09301-011), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education, and Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF) in the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

726_2010_743_MOESM1_ESM.tif (55 kb)
SF1. UV/Vis spectra of the ferrous-CO states of WT CYP2C8 and its variants. Spectra were recorded in 50 mM KPi, 500 mM NaCl, and 20% glycerol buffer, pH 7.4 at 25°C, proteins concentration were 5 μM (TIFF 54 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM2_ESM.tif (491 kb)
SF2. Stopped-flow kinetics of electron transfer of WT CYP2C8 and its variants when reduced by Na2S2O4 (TIFF 490 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM3_ESM.tif (456 kb)
SF3. Reversed-phase HPLC of paclitaxel and its metabolite. (A) There was no NADPH in the reaction system. (B) Reaction started by the addition of NADPH. Conditions: see experimental section (TIFF 455 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM4_ESM.tif (491 kb)
(TIFF 490 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM5_ESM.tif (92 kb)
SF4. The mass spectra of a band (paclitaxel) from the positive-ion MS analysis (TIFF 92 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM6_ESM.tif (84 kb)
SF5. The mass spectra of b band (6α-OH-paclitaxel) from the positive-ion MS analysis (TIFF 84 kb)
726_2010_743_MOESM7_ESM.tif (491 kb)
SF6. Eadie-Hofstee plot of paclitaxel α-hydroxylation by WT CYP2C8 and its variants. The solid line indicates fitting of data to the Eadie-Hofstee equation by linear regression (TIFF 490 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hualin Jiang
    • 1
  • Fangfang Zhong
    • 1
  • Lu Sun
    • 1
  • Weiyue Feng
    • 2
  • Zhong-Xian Huang
    • 1
  • Xiangshi Tan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Institutes of Biomedical SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of High Energy PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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