Many fungal species exhibit unique and superior metabolic functions, including secondary metabolite production and detoxification of environmental pollutants, which are associated with cytochrome P450-dependent reactions. In the last decade, fungal genome projects have uncovered the astonishing molecular diversity of P450s in the fungal kingdom. The tremendous variation among the P450s implies that fungi have vigorously diversified P450 functions to meet novel metabolic needs. Fungal P450s discovered from genome projects are often categorized into novel families and subfamilies, suggesting that fungal P450s possess greater divergence than the animal, plant, or bacterial P450s. It is a challenging task to exploit the catalytic functions of the numerous P450s to better understand the biology of fungal metabolic systems. Comprehensive information about the functions of the P450s will also give hints about how to use their catalytic potentials in the biotechnology sector; however, experimental screening remains essential to reveal the catalytic potentials of individual P450s. In this chapter, the fungal metabolic systems in which P450s play a role are described, and the molecular and functional diversity and potential uses of fungal P450s are discussed.
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