Primary structure of the maize NADP-dependent malic enzyme

B. A. Rothermel, T. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Chloroplast-localized NADP-dependent malic enzyme (EC (NADP-ME) provides a key activity for the carbon 4 fixation pathway. In maize, nuclear encoded NADP-ME is synthesized in the cytoplasm as a precursor with a transit peptide that is removed upon transport into the chloroplast stroma. We present here the complete nucleotide sequence for a 2184-base pair full-length maize NADP-ME cDNA. The predicted precursor protein is 636 amino acids long with a M(r) of 69,800. There is a strong codon bias found in the amino-terminal portion of NADP-ME that is present in genes for the other enzymes of the C-4 photosynthetic pathway. The NADP-ME transit peptide has general features common to other known chloroplast stroma transit peptides. Comparison of mature maize NADP-ME to the amino acid sequences of known malic enzymes shows two conserved dinucleotide-binding sites. There is a third highly conserved region of unknown function. On the basis of amino acid sequence similarity, the maize chloroplastic enzyme is more closely related to eukaryotic cytosolic isoforms of malic enzyme than to prokaryotic isoforms. We discuss the functional and evolutionary relationship between the chloroplastic and cytosolic forms of NADP-ME.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19587-19592
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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