Seventeen missense mutations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) 1alpha-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) that cause Vitamin D-dependent rickets type I (VDDR-I) have been identified. To understand the mechanism by which each mutation disrupts 1alpha-hydroxylase activity and to visualize the substrate-binding site, we performed the homology modeling of CYP27B1. The three-dimensional (3D) structure of CYP27B1 was modeled on the basis of the crystal structure of rabbit CYP2C5, the first solved X-ray structure of a eukaryotic CYP. The 3D structure of CYP27B1 contains 17 helices and 6 beta-strands, and the overall structural folding is similar to the available structures of soluble CYPs as well as to the template CYP2C5. Mapping of the residues responsible for VDDR-I has provided much information concerning the function of each mutant. We have previously reported site-directed mutagenesis studies on several mutants of CYP27B1 causing VDDR-1, and suggested the role of each residue. All these suggestions are in good agreement with our 3D-model of CYP27B1. Furthermore, this model enabled us to predict the function of the other mutation residues responsible for VDDR-I.
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