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Protein Expr Purif. 2000 Nov;20(2):334-45.

High-level expression of human liver monoamine oxidase B in Pichia pastoris.

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  • 1Departments of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The high-level heterologous expression, purification, and characterization of the mitochondrial outer membrane enzyme human liver monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris expression system are described. A 2-L culture of P. pastoris expresses approximately 1700 U of MAO B activity, with the recombinant enzyme associated tightly with the membrane fraction of the cell lysate. By a modification of the published procedure for purification of bovine liver MAO B [Salach, J. I. (1979) Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 192, 128-137], recombinant human liver MAO B is purified in a 34% yield ( approximately 200 mg from 2 L of cell culture). The isolated enzyme exhibits an M(r) of approximately 60, 000 on SDS-PAGE and 59,474 from electrospray mass spectrometry measurements, which is in good agreement with the mass predicted from the gene sequence and inclusion of the covalent FAD. One mole of covalent FAD per mole of MAO B is present in the purified enzyme and is bound by an 8alpha-S-cysteinyl(397) linkage, as identified by electrospray mass spectrometry of the isolated tryptic/chymotryptic flavin peptide. Recombinant human liver MAO B and bovine liver MAO B are shown to be acetylated at the seryl residues at their respective amino termini. The benzylamine oxidase activity of recombinant MAO B ranges from 3.0 to 3.4 U/mg and steady-state kinetic parameters for this enzyme preparation compare well with those published for the bovine liver enzyme: k(cat) = 600 min(-1), K(m)(benzylamine) = 0.50 mM, and K(m)(O(2)) = 0.33 mM. Kinetic isotope effect parameters using [alpha,alpha-(2)H(2)]benzylamine are also similar to those found for the bovine enzyme. Recombinant MAO B exhibits a (D)k(cat) = 4.7, a (D)[k(cat)/K(m)(benzylamine)] = 4.5, and a (D)[k(cat)/K(m)(O(2))] = 1.0. In contrast to bovine liver MAO B, no evidence was found for the presence of any anionic flavin radical either by UV-vis or by EPR spectroscopy in the resting form of the enzyme. These data demonstrate the successful heterologous expression of a functional, membrane-bound MAO B, which will permit a number of mutagenesis studies as structural and mechanistic probes not previously possible.

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