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Plant Physiol. 1991 Feb;95(2):384-9.

Soybean Nodule-Specific Uricase (Nodulin-35) Is Expressed and Assembled into a Functional Tetrameric Holoenzyme in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and The Ohio State Biotechnology Center, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1002.


A complete nodulin-35 (N-35) cDNA encoding nodule-specific uricase (EC was isolated from a soybean (Glycine max L. var. Prize) nodule cDNA expression library using a previously isolated partial cDNA clone. The N-35 cDNA was expressed in Escherichia coli driven by the lacZ promoter and was found to be functionally active. The uricase activity was detected in the cytoplasmic fraction of E. coli with the same pH optimum and apparent K(m) values as that in the nodules. Because a stop codon is located 15 base pairs upstream of the N-35 initiation codon, it appears that a fusion protein with LacZ was not made, but reinitiation occurred due to the presence of a putative Shine-Dalgarno sequence in the appropriate region. The size of the N-35 polypeptide made in E. coli is identical to that present in soybean nodules and is able to assemble into a tetrameric holoenzyme with the same molecular weight as the native uricase. Thus, the presence of peroxisomes does not appear to be essential for the proper assembly of the holoenzyme in E. coli. These data also indicate that posttranslational modifications or membrane transport are not essential either for the assembly of N-35 into a holoenzyme or for the activity of uricase.

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