Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.299, No.4, 581-586, 2002
Cloning and expression of the human N-acetylglutamate synthase gene
N-acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS, E.C. 18.104.22.168) is a mitochondrial enzyme catalyzing the formation of N-acetylglutamate (NAG), an essential allosteric activator of carbamylphosphate synthase I (CPSI), the first enzyme of the urea cycle. Patients with NAGS deficiency develop hyperammonemia because CPSI is inactive without NAG. The human NAGS cDNA was isolated from a liver library based on its similarity to mouse NAGS. The deduced amino acid sequence contains an N-terminal putative mitochondrial targeting signal of 49 amino acids (63% identity with mouse NAGS) followed by a "variable domain" of 45 amino acids (35% identity) and a "conserved domain" of 440 amino acids (92% identity). A cDNA sequence containing the "conserved domain" complements an NAGS-deficient Escherichia coli strain and the recombinant protein has arginine-responsive NAGS catalytic activity. The NAGS gene is expressed in the liver and small intestine; the intestinal transcript is smaller in size than liver transcript. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.