ConspectusThis Account addresses the catalytic cycle of the enzyme cytochrome P450 (CYP450) as a prototypical biological machine with automatic features. CYP450 is a nanomachine that uses dioxygen and two reducing and two proton equivalents to oxidize a plethora of molecules (so-called substrates) as a means of supplying bio-organisms with essential molecules (e.g., brain neurotransmitters, sex hormones, etc.) and protecting biosystems against poisoning. An enticing property of CYP450s is that entrance of an oxidizable substrate into the active site initiates a series of events that constitute the catalytic cycle, which functions "automatically" in a regulated sequence of events culminating in the production of the oxidized substrates (e.g., hydroxylated, epoxidized, etc.), oftentimes with remarkable stereo- and regioselectivities. It is timely to demonstrate how theory uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) calculations to complement experiments and elucidate the choreography by which the protein regulates the catalytic cycle.CYP450 is a heme enzyme that contains a ferric ion (Fe III ) coordinated by a porphyrin ligand, a water molecule, and a cysteinate ligand that is provided by a strategic residue of the encapsulating protein. While many of the individual steps are sufficiently well-understood, we shall provide here an overview of the factors that cause all of the steps to be sequentially coordinated. To this end, we use examples from three different CYP450 enzymes: the bacterial ones CYP450 BM3 and CYP450 CAM and the mammalian enzyme CYP450 3A4 . The treatment is limited to the catalytic cycle, as aspects of two-state reactivity were reviewed previously (e.g., Shaik, S.; et al. Chem. Rev. 2005, 105, 2279).What are the principles that govern the seeming automatic feature? For example, how do substrate entrance and binding gate the enzyme? How does the reductase attachment to the enzyme affect the next steps? What triggers the attachment of the reductase? How does the electron transfer (ET) that converts Fe III to Fe II occur? Is the ET coordinated with the entrance of O 2 into the active site? What is the mechanism of the latter step? Since the entrance of the substrate expels the water molecules from the active site, how do water molecules re-enter to form a proton channel, which is necessary for creating the ultimate oxidant Compound I? How do mutations that disrupt the water channel nevertheless create a competent oxidant? By what means does the enzyme produce regio- and stereoselective oxidation products? What triggers the departure of the oxidized product, and how does the exit occur in a manner that generates the resting state ready for the next cycle? This Account shows that the entrance of the substrate triggers all of the ensuing events. © Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society.