Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) plays a prominent role in the metabolism of a vast array of drugs and xenobiotics and exhibits broad substrate specificities. Most cytochrome P450-mediated reactions follow simple Michaelis-Menten kinetics. These parameters are widely accepted to predict pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic consequences in vivo caused by exposure to one or multiple drugs. However, CYP3A4 in many cases exhibits allosteric (sigmoidal) characteristics that make the Michaelis constants difficult to estimate. In the present study, diazepam, temazepam and nordiazepam were employed as substrates of CYP3A4 to propose a kinetic model. The model hypothesized that CYP3A4 contains two substrate-binding sites in a single active site that are both distinct and co-operative, and the resulting velocity equation had a good fit with the sigmoidal kinetic observations. Therefore, four pairs of the kinetic estimates (KS1, kα, KS2, kβ, KS3, k, KS4 and kγ) were resolved to interpret the features of binding affinity and catalytic ability of CYP3A4. Dissociation constants KS1 and KS2 for two single-substrate-bound enzyme molecules (SE and ES) were 3-50-fold greater than KS3 and KS4 for a two-substrate-bound enzyme (SES), while respective rate constants k and kγ were 3-218-fold greater than kα and kβ, implying that access and binding of the first molecule to either site in an active pocket of CYP3A4 can enhance the binding affinity and reaction rate of the vacant site for the second substrate. Thus our results provide some new insights into the co-operative binding of two substrates in the inner portions of an allosteric CYP3A4 active site.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.