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J Biol Chem. 1991 Feb 15;266(5):3016-21.

Human NAD(+)-dependent mitochondrial malic enzyme. cDNA cloning, primary structure, and expression in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Ernst Boehringer Institut, Vienna, Austria.


Mitochondrial NAD(+)-dependent malic enzyme (EC is expressed in rapidly proliferating cells and tumor cells, where it is probably linked to the conversion of amino acid carbon to pyruvate. In this paper, we report the cDNA cloning, amino acid sequence, and expression in Escherichia coli of functional human NAD(+)-dependent mitochondrial malic enzyme. The cDNA is 1,923 base pairs long and contains an open reading frame coding for a 584-amino acid protein. The molecular mass is 65.4 kDa for the unprocessed precursor protein. Comparison of the amino acid sequence of the human protein with the published NADP(+)-dependent mammalian cytosolic or plant chloroplast malic enzymes reveals highly conserved regions interrupted with long stretches of amino acids without significant homology. Expression of the processed protein in E. coli yielded an enzyme with the same kinetic and allosteric properties as malic enzyme purified from human cells.

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