Citrate synthase is a key enzyme of the Krebs tricarboxylic acid cycle and catalyzes the stereospecific synthesis of citrate from acetyl coenzyme A and oxalacetate. The amino acid sequence and three-dimensional structure of pig citrate synthase dimers are known, and regions of the enzyme involved in substrate binding and catalysis have been identified. A cloned complementary DNA sequence encoding pig citrate synthase has been isolated from a pig kidney λgt 11 cDNA library after screening with a synthetic oligonucleotide probe. The complete nucleotide sequence of the 1.5-kilobase cDNA was determined. The coding region consists of 1395 base pairs and confirms the amino acid sequence of purified pig citrate synthase. The derived amino acid sequence of pig citrate synthase predicts the presence of a 27 amino acid N-terminal leader peptide whose sequence is consistent with the sequences of other mitochondrial signal peptides. A conserved amino acid sequence in the mitochondrial leader peptides of pig citrate synthase and yeast mitochondrial citrate synthase was identified. To express the pig citrate synthase cDNA in Escherichia coli, we employed the inducible T7 RNA polymerase/promoter double plasmid expression vectors pGP 1-2 and pT7-7 [Tabor, S., & Richardson, C. C. (1985) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 82, 1074–1078]. The pig citrate synthase cDNA was modified to delete the N-terminal leader sequence; then by use of a synthetic oligonucleotide linker, the modified cDNA was cloned into pT7-7 immediately following the initiator Met. A glutamate-requiring (citrate synthase deficient), recA-E. coli mutant, DEK15, was transformed with pGP l-2 and then pT7-7PCS. pT7-7PCS complemented the E. coli gltA mutation. Following induction, the expressed pig citrate synthase protein was estimated to be about 9% of the total cell protein. Expression of the pig citrate synthase cDNA in E. coli yielded a functionally active enzyme that comigrated on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels with the purified pig heart protein.
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