The cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are a versatile superfamily of heme-containing monooxygenases, perhaps best known for their role in the oxidation of xenobiotic compounds. However, due to their unique oxidative chemistry, CYPs are also important in natural product drug discovery and in the generation of active metabolites with unique therapeutic properties. New tools for the analysis and production of CYP metabolites, including microscale analytical technologies and combinatorial biosynthesis, are providing medicinal chemists with the opportunity to use CYPs as a novel platform for lead discovery and development. In this review, we will highlight some of the recent examples of drug leads identified from CYP metabolites and the exciting possibilities of using CYPs as catalysts for future drug discovery.
Annu Rep Med Chem. 2014;49:347-359. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800167-7.00022-5.