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J Biosci Bioeng. 2003;95(1):82-8.

dffA gene from Aspergillus oryzae encodes L-ornithine N5-oxygenase and is indispensable for deferriferrichrysin biosynthesis.

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  • 1National Research Institute of Brewing, 3-7-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan. yamada@nrib.go.jp


We identified and analyzed the dffA gene from Aspergillus oryzae which encodes L-ornithine N5-oxygenase involved in the biosynthesis of deferriferrichrysin, a type of siderophore which is a low-molecular-weight iron chelating compound. From among more than 20,000 clones in an A. oryzae EST (expressed sequence tag) library, we found only one clone encoding a protein that exhibited homology to theUstilago maydis sid1 protein (Sid1) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa pvdA protein (PvdA), both known as the only examples of L-ornithine N5-oxygenase. The complete gene sequence shows that the dffA gene includes a 1575-bp open reading frame (ORF), one 66-bp intorn, which is a typical intorn length inA. oryzae, and encodes 502 amino acids with putative FAD-binding, NADP-binding, and 'FATGY' motifs, which are conserved inN-hydroxylating enzymes. As well as that of the U. maydis sid1 gene,dffA gene expression was induced under iron-limited conditions, and the promoter region has several GATA-type transcription regulator binding motifs. When the dffA gene was expressed under the control of the a-amylase promoter in A. oryzae, transformants revealed inducible high L-ornithine N5-oxygenase activities. In addition, a dffA gene disruptant showed no deferriferrichrysin production even under iron-limited conditions. These results clearly suggest that the dffA gene is indispensable for deferriferrichrysin biosynthesis in A. oryzae.

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