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Molecular characterization of StcI esterase from Aspergillus nidulans

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Aspergillus nidulans produces StcI esterase, which is involved in the biosynthesis of sterigmatocystin, a precursor of aflatoxins. Previous reports of this esterase in A. nidulans suggest that it is composed of 286 amino acid residues with a theoretical molecular mass of 31 kDa. Various conditions were evaluated to determine the optimal expression conditions for StcI; the highest level was observed when A. nidulans was cultured in solid oat media. Various esterases were expressed differentially according to the culture media used. However, specific antibodies designed to detect StcI reacted with a protein with an unexpected molecular mass of 35 kDa in cell extracts from all expression conditions. Analysis of the gene sequence and already reported expressed sequence tags indicated the presence of an additional 29-amino-acid N-terminal region of StcI, which is not a signal peptide and which has not been previously reported. We also detected the presence of this additional N-terminal region using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The complete protein (NStcI) was cloned and successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris.

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CPM received a scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) that allowed collaboration with the ITB, University of Stuttgart, Germany. We appreciate the help of American Journal Experts with the English revision of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Amelia Farrés.

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Peña-Montes, C., Lange, S., Flores, I. et al. Molecular characterization of StcI esterase from Aspergillus nidulans . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 84, 917–926 (2009).

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  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Esterase
  • Cloning
  • Sterigmatocystin
  • N terminus