The complementary DNA (cDNA) and chromosomal DNA (icdA) encoding the NADP+-specific isocitrate dehydrogenase (EC 22.214.171.124) of Aspergillus niger WU-2223L, a citric acid-producing strain, were cloned. Two cDNA clones (cDNA-1, 2.0 kb; cDNA-2, 1.5 kb) were obtained and sequenced, and an ORF of 1494 base pairs (bp) encoding a protein of 498 amino acids (aa) was identified in cDNA-1. The predicted amino acid sequence showed 73% and 67% sequence identities with those of the mitochondrial NADP+-ICDHs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and pig, respectively. The sequence analysis of cDNA-1 and -2 revealed that the cDNA-2 lacks a 500-bp fragment from cDNA-1 which contains a mitochondrial targeting motif. A peroxisomal targeting motif at the C-terminus was found on the aa sequences of cDNA-1 and cDNA-2, but the cDNA-2 product seemed to be localized in the cytoplasm since the peroxisomes were not found in the mycelia of WU-2223L cultivated under the conditions of citric acid production. The expression of both cDNAs in Escherichia coli DEK2004, an isocitrate dehydrogenase-deficient mutant, revealed that both cDNAs complemented the glutamate-requiring phenotype, and that the transformants retained NADP(+)-ICDH activities. Therefore, it was clarified that both of the cDNA-1 and -2 products are fully functional. The chromosomal DNA, icdA, was cloned to correspond to cDNA-1, and its nucleotide sequence revealed that it contains seven introns. Southern hybridization using cDNA-1 and cDNA-2 indicated that there is only one copy of icdA on the chromosomes of A. niger WU-2223L. Northern hybridization analysis as for total RNA of WU-2223L revealed that two mRNAs of different sizes, 2.0 kb and 1.5 kb, were hybridized to the ORF of cDNA-1 used as a probe. Therefore, it was found that approximately 1500-nt and 2000-nt mRNAs were transcribed from only one icdA chromosomal gene in A. niger. Such a transcription has not been observed for ICDH, which is one of the key regulatory enzymes in TCA cycle, in any other organisms.
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