A way to study drug metabolism using cytochrome P450 enzymes (which are involved in the metabolism of over 60% of clinically used drugs) has been developed by scientists in China.
The team made a film of indium tin oxide nanoparticles (they have good conductivity) and cytochrome P450s encapsulated by chitosan (which are biocompatible) on a carbon electrode. They were able to bioelectronically initiate cytochrome P450 catalysis by replacing electron donation from expensive nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate with electrodes.
The system has potential for applications in drug discovery and development by monitoring substrate metabolism and enzyme inhibition. Other applications include biosensors for toxicity analysis and bioreactors for chemical synthesis.
Link to journal article
Electrochemically Driven Drug Metabolism via Cytochrome P450 2C9 Isozyme Microsomes with Cytochrome P450 Reductase and Indium Tin Oxide Nanoparticle Composites
X Xu et al
Chem. Commun., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c2cc33575a