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Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Intact Cytochrome P450:  Identification of Tienilic Acid Adducts to P450 2C9

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Box 357610, Seattle, Washington 98195, Biomedical Research Centre, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, U.K., and Department of Drug Metabolism, WP-26A-2044, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486
Cite this: Biochemistry 1999, 38, 8, 2312–2319
Publication Date (Web):February 4, 1999
Copyright © 1999 American Chemical Society

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    A general scheme for the purification of baculovirus-expressed cytochrome P450s (P450s) from the crude insect cell pastes has been designed which renders the P450s suitable for analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). An HPLC/ESI-MS procedure has been developed to analyze small amounts of intact purified P450 (P450s cam-HT, 1A1, 1A2, 2A6, 2B1, 2C9, 2C9 C175R, 3A4, 3A4-HT) and rat NADPH cytochrome P450 reductase (P450 reductase). The experimentally determined and predicted (based on the amino acid sequences) molecular masses (MMs) of the various proteins had identical rank orders. For each individual protein, the difference between the experimentally determined (±SD, based on experiments performed on at least 3 different days) and predicted MMs ranged from 0.002 to 0.035%. Each experimentally determined MM had a standard deviation of less than 0.09% (based on the charge state distribution). Application of this HPLC/ESI-MS technique made the detection of the covalent modification to P450 2C9 following mechanism-based inactivation by tienilic acid possible. In the absence of glutathione, three P450 2C9 species were detected that produced ESI mass spectra corresponding to native P450 2C9 and both a monoadduct and a diadduct of tienilic acid to P450 2C9. In the presence of glutathione, only native P450 2C9 and the monoadduct were detected. Based on the observed mass shifts for the P450 2C9/tienilic acid adducts, a mechanism for the inactivation of P450 2C9 by tienilic acid is proposed.

     This work was supported by NIH Grant GM32165 (Bethesda, MD). L.L.K. is the recipient of a Dorothy-Danforth Compton Graduate Student Fellowship.

     University of Washington.


     Present address:  School of Pharmacy, S-926, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0446.

     Present address:  NOVARTIS Pharmaceutical Co., DMPK-ADME, Building 405/278, 59 Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936.

     Present address:  EPSRC Mass Spectrometry Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Wales, Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA28PP, Wales.


     Ninewells Hospital and Medical School.

     Merck Research Laboratories.


     To whom correspondence should be addressed at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Box 357610, Seattle, WA 98195. Telephone:  (206) 543-9481. FAX:  (206) 685-3252. E-mail:  [email protected].

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