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J Biol Chem. 1996 Apr 19;271(16):9795-800.

Cloning, characterization, and expression of cDNAs encoding human delta 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Delta 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase (P5CDh; EC, a mitochondrial matrix NAD(+)-dependent dehydrogenase, catalyzes the second step of the proline degradation pathway. Deficiency of this enzyme is associated with type II hyperprolinemia (HPII), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by accumulation of delta 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) and proline. As an initial step in understanding the biochemistry of human P5CDh and molecular basis of HPII, we utilized published peptide sequence data and degenerate primer polymerase chain reaction to clone two full-length human P5CDh cDNAs, differing in length by 1 kilobase pair (kb). Both cDNAs have the identical 1689-base pair open reading frame encoding a protein of 563 residues with a predicted molecular mass of 62 kDa. The long cDNA contains an additional 1-kb insert in the 3'-untranslated region that appears to be an alternatively spliced intron. The conceptual translation of human P5CDh has 89% sequence identity with the published human P5CDh peptide sequences and 42 and 26% identity with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli P5CDhs, respectively, as well as homology to several other aldehyde dehydrogenases. Both P5CDh cDNA clones detect a single 3.2-kb transcript on Northern blots of multiple human tissues, indicating the long cDNA containing the 3'-untranslated intron represents the predominant transcript. The P5CDh structural gene appears to be single copy with a size of about 20 kb localized to chromosome 1. To confirm the identity of the putative P5CDh cDNAs, we expressed them in a P5CDh-deficient strain of S. cerevisiae. Both conferred measurable P5CDh activity and the ability to grow on proline as a sole nitrogen source.

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