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CYPSI: a structure-based interface for cytochrome P450s and ligands in Arabidopsis thaliana

Gaihua Zhang, Yijing Zhang and Zhen Su*

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, People’s Republic of China

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BMC Bioinformatics 2012, 13:332  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-13-332

Published: 20 December 2012



The cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily enables terrestrial plants to adapt to harsh environments. CYPs are key enzymes involved in a wide range of metabolic pathways. It is particularly useful to be able to analyse the three-dimensional (3D) structure when investigating the interactions between CYPs and their substrates. However, only two plant CYP structures have been resolved. In addition, no currently available databases contain structural information on plant CYPs and ligands. Fortunately, the 3D structure of CYPs is highly conserved and this has made it possible to obtain structural information from template-based modelling (TBM).


The CYP Structure Interface (CYPSI) is a platform for CYP studies. CYPSI integrated the 3D structures for 266 A. thaliana CYPs predicted by three TBM methods: BMCD, which we developed specifically for CYP TBM; and two well-known web-servers, MUSTER and I-TASSER. After careful template selection and optimization, the models built by BMCD were accurate enough for practical application, which we demonstrated using a docking example aimed at searching for the CYPs responsible for ABA 8-hydroxylation. CYPSI also provides extensive resources for A. thaliana CYP structure and function studies, including 400 PDB entries for solved CYPs, 48 metabolic pathways associated with A. thaliana CYPs, 232 reported CYP ligands and 18 A. thaliana CYPs docked with ligands (61 complexes in total). In addition, CYPSI also includes the ability to search for similar sequences and chemicals.


CYPSI provides comprehensive structure and function information for A. thaliana CYPs, which should facilitate investigations into the interactions between CYPs and their substrates. CYPSI has a user-friendly interface, which is available at webcite.

Cytochrome P450; CYP Structure Interface; Template-based modelling; BMCD; ABA 8-hydroxylation; CYP707A