Cytochrome P450: Progress and predictions

M. J. Coon, X. Ding, S. J. Pernecky, A. D.N. Vaz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


The cytochrome P450 gene superfamily encodes many isoforms that are unusual in the variety of chemical reactions catalyzed and the number of substrates attacked. The latter include physiologically important substances such as steroids, eicosanoids, fatty acids, lipid hydroperoxides, retinoids, and other lipid metabolites, and xenobiotics such as drugs, alcohols, procarcinogens, antioxidants, organic solvents, anesthetics, dyes, pesticides, odorants, and flavorants. Accordingly, it is not surprising that these catalysts have come under intensive study in recent years in fields as diverse as biochemistry and molecular biology, endocrinology, pharmacology, toxicology, anesthesiology, nutrition, pathology, and oncology. In this review, recent advances in our knowledge of the catalytic properties, reaction mechanisms, and regulation of expression and activity of the P450 enzymes are briefly summarized. In addition, the prospects for research in this field are considered, and advances are predicted in four broad areas: improved basic knowledge of enzyme catalysis and regulation; synthesis of fine chemicals, including drug design and screening; removal of undesirable environmen-tal chemicals; and biomedical applications related to steroid, drug, carcinogen, and alcohol metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-673
Number of pages5
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 6 1992


  • Cytochrome P450 isozymes
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Olefin formation from aldehydes
  • Oxygen activation
  • Regulation of expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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