Cytochrome P-450 is the terminal oxidase of an electron transport system that is responsible for the oxidative metabolism of a large variety of endogenous and exogenous compounds. This broad substrate selectivity is caused by multiple isozymes of cytochrome P-450 and the wide substrate selectivity of many of these isozymes. We have isolated 11 isozymes of cytochrome P-450 from the livers of rats (cytochromes P-450a-P-450k). We have found both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies increasingly useful to distinguish among these isozymes and to quantitate enzyme levels in liver microsomal preparations where as many as 15 or more cytochrome P-450 isozymes are present. Several of these isozymes show considerable immunochemical relatedness to each other, and operationally they can be grouped into families of immunochemically related isozymes that include cytochromes P-450b and P-450e in one family, cytochromes P-450c and P-450d in another, and cytochromes P-450f-P-450i, and P-450k in a third family. Immunoquantitation of some of these isozymes has revealed dramatic increases of over 50-fold in the levels of certain of these isozymes when exogenous compounds are administered to rats.
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