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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 22;274(4):2014-20.

Cloning and characterization of a eukaryotic pantothenate kinase gene (panK) from Aspergillus nidulans.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is the key regulatory enzyme in the CoA biosynthetic pathway. The PanK gene from Escherichia coli (coaA) has been previously cloned and the enzyme biochemically characterized; highly related genes exist in other prokaryotes. We isolated a PanK cDNA clone from the eukaryotic fungus Aspergillus nidulans by functional complementation of a temperature-sensitive E. coli PanK mutant. The cDNA clone allowed the isolation of the genomic clone and the characterization of the A. nidulans gene designated panK. The panK gene is located on chromosome 3 (linkage group III), is interrupted by three small introns, and is expressed constitutively. The amino acid sequence of A. nidulans PanK (aPanK) predicted a subunit size of 46.9 kDa and bore little resemblance to its bacterial counterpart, whereas a highly related protein was detected in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to E. coli PanK (bPanK), which is regulated by CoA and to a lesser extent by its thioesters, aPanK activity was selectively and potently inhibited by acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA inhibition of aPanK was competitive with respect to ATP. Thus, the eukaryotic PanK has a distinct primary structure and unique regulatory properties that clearly distinguish it from its prokaryotic counterpart.

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