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Biochem J. 1991 Jul 15;277 ( Pt 2):469-75.

Isolation, characterization and sequence analysis of a full-length cDNA clone encoding acetohydroxy acid reductoisomerase from spinach chloroplasts.

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Unité Mixte C.N.R.S./Rhône-Poulenc (Unité Associée au Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, U.M. 41), Lyon, France.


Acetohydroxy acid reductoisomerase (AHRI), the second enzyme in the parallel isoleucine/valine-biosynthetic pathway, catalyses an unusual two-step reaction in which the substrate, either 2-acetolactate or 2-aceto-2-hydroxybutyrate, is converted via an alkyl migration and an NADPH-dependent reduction to give 2,3-dihydroxy-3-methylbutyrate or 2,3-dihydroxy-3-methylvalerate respectively. We have isolated and characterized a full-length cDNA from a lambda gt11 spinach library encoding the complete acetohydroxy acid reductoisomerase protein precursor. The 2050-nucleotide sequence contains a 1785-nucleotide open reading frame. The derived amino acid sequence indicates that the protein precursor consists of 595 amino acid residues including a presequence peptide of 72 amino acid residues. The N-terminal sequence of the first 16 amino acid residues of the purified AHRI confirms the identity of the cDNA. The derived amino acid sequence from this open reading frame shows 23% identity with the deduced amino acid sequences of the Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae AHRI proteins. There are two blocks of conserved amino acid residues in these three proteins. One of these is a sequence similar to the 'fingerprint' region of the NAD(P)H-binding site found in a large number of NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductases. The other, a short sequence (Lys-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Ser-His-Gly-Phe) containing the amino acids lysine and histidine, could well be the catalytic site of the first step of the AHRI reaction. Southern-blot analysis indicated that AHRI is encoded by a single gene per haploid genome of about 7.5 kbp containing at least four introns.

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