Immunochemical evidence for a role of cytochrome P-450 in liver microsomal ethanol oxidation

Dennis R. Koop, Gerald D. Nordblom, Minor J. Coon

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86 Scopus citations


Antibodies to cytochrome P-450 isozyme 3a, the ethanol-inducible isozyme in rabbit liver, were used to determine the role of this enzyme in the microsomal oxidation of alcohols and the p-hydroxylation of aniline. P-450 isozymes, 2, 3b, 3c, 4, and 6 did not crossreact with anti-3a IgG as judged by Ouchterlony double diffusion, and radioimmunoassays indicated a crossreactivity of less than 1%. Greater than 90% of the activity of purified form 3a toward aniline, ethanol, n-butanol, and n-pentanol was inhibited by the antibody in the reconstituted system. The catalytic activity of liver microsomes from control or ethanol-treated rabbits was unaffected by the addition of either desferrioxamine (up to 1.0 mm) or EDTA (0.1 mm), suggesting that reactions involving the production of hydroxyl radicals from H2O2 and any contaminating iron in the system did not make a significant contribution to the microsomal activity. The addition of anti-3a IgG to hepatic microsomes from ethanol-treated rabbits inhibited the metabolism of ethanol, n-butanol, n-pentanol, and aniline by about 75, 70, 80, and 60%, respectively, while the inhibition of the activity of microsomes from control animals was only about one-half as great. The rate of microsomal H2O2 formation was inhibited to a lesser extent than the formation of acetaldehyde, thus suggesting that the antibody was acting to prevent the direct oxidation of ethanol by form 3a. Under conditions where purified NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase-catalyzed substrate oxidations was minimal, the P-450 isozymes other than 3a had low but significant activity toward the four substrates examined. The residual activity at maximal concentrations of the antibody most likely represents the sum of the activities of P-450 isozymes other than 3a present in the microsomal preparations. The results thus indicate that the enhanced monooxygenase activity of liver microsomes from ethanol-treated animals represents catalysis by P-450 isozyme 3a.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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