Cloning and sequencing of the chromosomal DNA and cDNA encoding the mitochondrial citrate synthase of Aspergillus niger WU-2223L

Kohtaro Kirimura*, Masashi Yoda, Ikuyo Ko, Yuichi Oshida, Kouichiro Miyake, Shoji Usami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The complementary DNA (cDNA) and chromosomal DNA encoding the citrate synthase (EC gene (cit1) of Aspergillus niger WU-2223L, a citric acid-producing strain, were cloned. Synthetic oligonucleotide primers were designed according to the amino acid sequences of already known eukaryotic citrate synthases and the codon bias of A. niger genes. The 920-bp DNA fragment was amplified by polymerase chain reaction with these primers using chromosomal DNA of WU-2223L as a template, and was employed to screen a cDNA library of A. niger. One full-length cDNA clone was isolated and sequenced, within which an ORF of 1425 bp encoding a protein of 475 aa with a molecular weight of 52,153 Da was found. Its N-terminal region contains a typical mitochondrial-targeting motif. The predicted aa sequence was 82, 68, and 65% homologous with the mitochondrial citrate synthases of Neurospora crassa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and pig, respectively, but it showed lower homology to bacterial citrate synthases. The full-length cDNA clone was used to screen a chromosomal library of A. niger WU-2223L, and a 7.5 kb-SalI fragment containing the corresponding chromosomal gene was isolated. Comparison of the chromosomal and cDNA sequences revealed that the cit1 gene is interrupted by six introns. In the chromosomal DNA, upstream of the coding region, a CT-rich region, but not the TATAAA or CAAT motifs, was found. Escherichia coli MOB150, a citrate synthase-deficient mutant showing a glutamate-requiring phenotype, was transformed with the plasmid pKAC-35S, which is the expression vector pKK223-3 containing the cDNA fragment encoding a putative mature protein of A. niger citrate synthase. The transformant harboring pKAC-35S showed citrate synthase activity and a glutamate-nonrequiring phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Sept


  • Aspergillus niger
  • Citrate synthase
  • Citric acid production
  • Heterologous gene expression
  • TCA cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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