Three Clusters of Conformational States in P450cam Reveal a Multistep Pathway for Closing of the Substrate Access Channel,
journal contributionposted on 08.02.2011 by Young-Tae Lee, Edith C. Glazer, Richard F. Wilson, C. David Stout, David B. Goodin
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Conformational changes in the substrate access channel have been observed for several forms of cytochrome P450, but the extent of conformational plasticity exhibited by a given isozyme has not been completely characterized. Here we present crystal structures of P450cam bound to a library of 12 active site probes containing a substrate analogue tethered to a variable linker. The structures provide a unique view of the range of protein conformations accessible during substrate binding. Principal component analysis of a total of 30 structures reveals three discrete clusters of conformations: closed (P450cam-C), intermediate (P450cam-I), and fully open (P450cam-O). Relative to P450cam-C, the P450cam-I state results predominantly from a retraction of helix F, while both helices F and G move in concert to reach the fully open P450cam-O state. Both P450cam-C and P450cam-I are well-defined states, while P450cam-O shows evidence of a somewhat broader distribution of conformations and includes the open form recently seen in the absence of substrate. The observed clustering of protein conformations over a wide range of ligand variants suggests a multistep closure of the enzyme around the substrate that begins by conformational selection from an ensemble of open conformations and proceeds through a well-defined intermediate, P450cam-I, before full closure to the P450cam-C state in the presence of small substrates. This multistep pathway may have significant implications for a full understanding of substrate specificity, kinetics, and coupling of substrate binding to P450 function.