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Curr Genet. 1990 Nov;18(4):331-5.

Expression of tyrosinase in vegetative cultures of Neurospora crassa transformed with a metallothionein promoter/protyrosinase fusion gene.

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Biochemisches Institut der Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Wild-type Neurospora crassa, strain Singapore, was transformed with a N. crassa metallothionein promoter/protyrosinase fusion gene. Transformants produced tyrosinase during vegetative growth, as determined by Western analyses and activity assays. This is in sharp contrast to wild-type strains, where this enzyme is only expressed in situations of starvation or sexual differentiation. Complete integration of a 400 bp metallothionein promoter-fragment leads to constitutive expression of protyrosinase, whereas a 3.6 kb promoter-fragment conferred copper inducibility on the reporter gene in four transformants. A transformant with high constitutive tyrosinase levels was able to produce melanin on complete medium agar plates supplemented with 1 mg/ml L-tyrosine.

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