▪ Abstract 

The hepatic cytochromes P450 (P450s) are monotopic endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-anchored hemoproteins engaged in the enzymatic oxidation of a wide variety of endo- and xenobiotics. In the course of these reactions, the enzymes generate reactive O species and/or reactive metabolic products that can attack the P450 heme and/or protein moiety and structurally and functionally damage the enzyme. The in vivo conformational unraveling of such a structurally damaged P450 signals its rapid removal via the cellular sanitation system responsible for the proteolytic disposal of structurally aberrant, abnormal, and/or otherwise malformed proteins. A key player in this process is the ubiquitin (Ub)-dependent 26S proteasome system. Accordingly, the structurally deformed P450 protein is first branded for recognition and proteolytic removal by the 26S proteasome with an enzymatically incorporated polyUb tag. P450s of the 3A subfamily such as the major human liver enzyme CYP3A4 are notorious targets for this process, and they represent excellent prototypes for the understanding of integral ER protein ubiquitination. Not all the participants in hepatic CYP3A ubiquitination and subsequent proteolytic degradation have been identified. The following discussion thus addresses the various known and plausible events and/or cellular participants involved in this multienzymatic P450 ubiquitination cascade, on the basis of our current knowledge of other eukaryotic models. In addition, because the detection of ubiquitinated P450s is technically challenging, the critical importance of appropriate methodology is also discussed.

Keyword(s): 26S proteasomeCYP2C11CYP3A4ERADHRD/DERUbc7p

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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