Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is a major enzymatic determinant of drug and xenobiotic metabolism that demonstrates remarkable substrate diversity and complex kinetic properties. The complex kinetics may result, in some cases, from multiple binding of ligands within the large active site or from an effector molecule acting at a distal allosteric site. Here, the fluorescent probe TNS (2-p-toluidinylnaphthalene-6-sulfonic acid) was characterized as an active site fluorescent ligand. UV-vis difference spectroscopy revealed a TNS-induced low-spin heme absorbance spectrum with an apparent K(d) of 25.4 +/- 2 microM. Catalytic turnover using 7-benzyloxyquinoline (7-BQ) as a substrate demonstrated TNS-dependent inhibition with an IC(50) of 9.9 +/- 0.1 microM. These results suggest that TNS binds in the CYP3A4 active site. The steady-state fluorescence of TNS increased upon binding to CYP3A4, and fluorescence titrations yielded a K(d) of 22.8 +/- 1 microM. Time-resolved frequency-domain measurement of TNS fluorescence lifetimes indicates a testosterone (TST)-dependent decrease in the excited-state lifetime of TNS, concomitant with a decrease in the steady-state fluorescence intensity. In contrast, the substrate erythromycin (ERY) had no effect on TNS lifetime, while it decreased the steady-state fluorescence intensity. Together, the results suggest that TNS binds in the active site of CYP3A4, while the first equivalent of TST binds at a distant allosteric effector site. Furthermore, the results are the first to indicate that TST bound to the effector site can modulate the environment of the heterotropic ligand.
Biochemistry. 2006 Oct 10;45(40):12204-15. doi: 10.1021/bi060083h.