, Volume 247, Issue 4, pp 430-438

Cloning, sequencing and heterologous expression of the monoamine oxidase gene from Aspergillus niger

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Abstract

The gene encoding the flavin-containing monoamine oxidase (MAO-N) of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger was cloned. MAO-N is the first nonvertebrate monoamine oxidase described to date. Three partial cDNA clones, isolated from an expression library, were used to identify and clone the structural gene (maoN) from an A. niger genomic DNA library. The maoN gene was sequenced, and analysis revealed an open reading frame that codes for a protein of 495 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 55.6 kDa. Sequencing of an internal proteolytic fragment of the purified enzyme confirmed the derived amino acid sequence. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence indicates that MAO-N is structurally related to the human monoamine oxidases MAO-A and MAO-B. In particular, the regions known to be involved in the binding of the FAD cofactor show a high degree of homology; however, the conserved cysteine residue to which the flavin cofactor is covalently bound in the mammalian forms is absent in the fungal enzyme. MAO-N has the C-terminal tripeptide Ala-Arg-Leu, which corresponds to the consensus targeting sequence found in many peroxisomal enzymes. The full-length cDNA for MAO-N was expressed in Escherichia coli from the T7 promoter of the expression vector pET3a, yielding a soluble and fully active enzyme form.

Communicated by C. A. M. J. J. van den Hondel