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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Jan;87(1):174-8.

Mammalian dihydroorotase: nucleotide sequence, peptide sequences, and evolution of the dihydroorotase domain of the multifunctional protein CAD.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201.


Mammalian DHOase (S-dihydroorotate amidohydrolase, EC is part of a large multifunctional protein called CAD, which also has a carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase [carbon-dioxide: L-glutamine amido-ligase (ADP-forming, carbamate-phosphorylating), EC] and aspartate transcarbamoylase (carbamoyl-phosphate: L-aspartate carbamoyltransferase, EC activities. We sequenced selected restriction fragments of a Syrian hamster CAD cDNA. The deduced amino acid sequence agreed with the sequence of tryptic peptides and the amino acid composition of the DHOase domain isolated by controlled proteolysis of CAD. Escherichia coli transformed with a recombinant plasmid containing the cDNA segment 5' to the aspartate transcarbamoylase coding region expressed a polypeptide recognized by DHOase domain-specific antibodies. Thus, the order of domains within the polypeptide is NH2-carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase-DHO-aspartate transcarbamoylase-COOH. The 334-residue DHOase domain has a molecular weight of 36,733 and a pI of 6.1. A fragment of CAD having DHOase activity that was isolated after trypsin digestion has extensions on both the NH2 (18 residues) and COOH (47-65 residues) termini of this core domain. Three of five conserved histidines are within short, highly conserved regions that may participate in zinc binding. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the monofunctional and fused DHOases separately. Although these families may have arisen by convergent evolution, we favor a model involving DHOase gene duplication and insertion into an ancestral bifunctional locus.

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