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J Bacteriol. 1994 Feb;176(3):871-85.

Molecular characterization of an aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase gene from Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208.


A gene (aad) coding for an aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (AAD) was identified immediately upstream of the previously cloned ctfA (J. W. Cary, D. J. Petersen, E. T. Papoutsakis, and G. N. Bennett, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 56:1576-1583, 1990) of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 and sequenced. The 2,619-bp aad codes for a 96,517-Da protein. Primer extension analysis identified two transcriptional start sites 83 and 243 bp upstream of the aad start codon. The N-terminal section of AAD shows homology to aldehyde dehydrogenases of bacterial, fungal, mammalian, and plant origin, while the C-terminal section shows homology to alcohol dehydrogenases of bacterial (which includes three clostridial alcohol dehydrogenases) and yeast origin. AAD exhibits considerable amino acid homology (56% identity) over its entire sequence to the trifunctional protein encoded by adhE from Escherichia coli. Expression of aad from a plasmid in C. acetobutylicum showed that AAD, which appears as a approximately 96-kDa band in denaturing protein gels, provides elevated activities of NADH-dependent butanol dehydrogenase, NAD-dependent acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and butyraldehyde dehydrogenase, and a small increase in NADH-dependent ethanol dehydrogenase. A 957-bp open reading frame that could potentially encode a 36,704-Da protein was identified upstream of aad.

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