The model white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, which is known for its versatile pollutant-biodegradation ability, possesses an extraordinarily large repertoire of P450 monooxygenases in its genome. However, the majority of these P450s have hitherto unknown function. Our initial studies using a genome-wide gene induction strategy revealed multiple P450s responsive to individual classes of xenobiotics. Here we report functional characterization of a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, CYP5136A3 that showed common responsiveness and catalytic versatility towards endocrine-disrupting alkylphenols (APs) and mutagenic/carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Using recombinant CYP5136A3, we demonstrated its oxidation activity towards APs with varying alkyl side-chain length (C3-C9), in addition to PAHs (3-4 ring size). AP oxidation involves hydroxylation at the terminal carbon of the alkyl side-chain (ω-oxidation). Structure-activity analysis based on a 3D model indicated a potential role of Trp(129) and Leu(324) in the oxidation mechanism of CYP5136A3. Replacing Trp(129) with Leu (W129L) and Phe (W129F) significantly diminished oxidation of both PAHs and APs. The W129L mutation caused greater reduction in phenanthrene oxidation (80%) as compared to W129F which caused greater reduction in pyrene oxidation (88%). Almost complete loss of oxidation of C3-C8 APs (83-90%) was observed for the W129L mutation as compared to W129F (28-41%). However, the two mutations showed a comparable loss (60-67%) in C9-AP oxidation. Replacement of Leu(324) with Gly (L324G) caused 42% and 54% decrease in oxidation activity towards phenanthrene and pyrene, respectively. This mutation also caused loss of activity towards C3-C8 APs (20-58%), and complete loss of activity toward nonylphenol (C9-AP). Collectively, the results suggest that Trp(129) and Leu(324) are critical in substrate recognition and/or regio-selective oxidation of PAHs and APs. To our knowledge, this is the first report on an AP-oxidizing P450 from fungi and on structure-activity relationship of a eukaryotic P450 for fused-ring PAHs (phenanthrene and pyrene) and AP substrates.
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