Membrane anchoring facilitates colocalization of enzymes

Plant metabolism depends on cascade reactions mediated by dynamic enzyme assemblies known as metabolons. In this context, the cytochrome P450 (P450) superfamily catalyze key reactions underpinning the unique diversity of bioactive compounds. In contrast to their soluble bacterial counterparts, eukaryotic P450s are anchored to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and serve as metabolon nucleation sites. Hence, membrane anchoring appears to play a pivotal role in the evolution of complex biosynthetic pathways. Here, a model membrane assay enabled characterization of membrane anchor dynamics by single molecule microscopy. As a model system, we reconstituted the membrane anchor of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR), the ubiquitous electron donor to all microsomal P450s.

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Fig:  Membrane-bound Cytochrome P450 Oxidoreductase (POR)

The transmembrane segment in the membrane anchor of POR is relatively conserved, corroborating its functional importance. We observe dynamic colocalization of the POR anchors in our assay suggesting that membrane anchoring might promote intermolecular interactions and in this way impact assembly of metabolic multienzyme complexes.

Laursen, T., Lam, H.Y.M., Sørensen, K.K. et al. Membrane anchoring facilitates colocalization of enzymes in plant cytochrome P450 redox systems. Commun Biol 4, 1057 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02604-1

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