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The cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (P450) enzyme system is a major mechanism of xenobiotic biotransformation. The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) is required for transfer of electrons from NADPH to P450. One CPR gene was identified in the genome of the malaria-transmitting mosquito Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae). The gene encodes a polypeptide containing highly conserved flavin mononucleotide-, flavin adenine dinucleotide-, and NADPH-binding domains, a unique characteristic of the reductase. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the A. stephensi and other known mosquito CPRs belong to a monophyletic group distinctly separated from other insects in the same order, Diptera. Amino acid residues of CPRs involved in binding of P450 and cytochrome c are conserved between A. stephensi and the Norway rat Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout (Rodentia: Muridae). However, gene structure particularly within the coding region is evidently different between the two organisms. Such difference might arise during the evolution process as also seen in the difference of P450 families and isoforms found in these organisms. CPR in the mosquito A. stephensi is expected to be active and serve as an essential component of the P450 system.
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