A mechanistic hypothesis for the cytochrome P450-catalyzed cis-trans isomerization of 4-hydroxytamoxifen: an unusual redox reaction.

Journal of chemical information and modeling

PubMedID: 21870861

Gao L, Tu Y, Wegman P, Wingren S, Eriksson LA. A mechanistic hypothesis for the cytochrome P450-catalyzed cis-trans isomerization of 4-hydroxytamoxifen: an unusual redox reaction. J Chem Inf Model. 2011;51(9):2293-301.
We provide a detailed description of the cis-trans isomerization of 4-hydroxytamoxifen/endoxifen catalyzed by several isoforms from the cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily, including CYP1B1, CYP2B6, and CYP2C19. We show that the reactions mainly involve redox processes catalyzed by CYP. DFT calculation results strongly suggest that the isomerization occurs via a cationic intermediate. The cationic cis-isomer is more than 3 kcal/mol more stable than the trans form, resulting in an easier conversion from trans-to-cis than cis-to-trans. The cis-trans isomerization is a rarely reported CYP reaction and is ascribed to the lack of a second abstractable proton on the ethenyl group of the triarylvinyl class of substrates. The cationic intermediates thus formed instead of the stable dehydrogenation products allow for isomerization to occur. As a comparison, the reactions for the tamoxifen derivatives are compared to those of other substrates, 4-hydroxyacetanilide and raloxifene, for which the stable dehydrogenation products are formed.