l-kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) is an NAD(P)H-dependent flavin monooxygenase that catalyses the hydroxylation of l-kynurenine to 3-hydroxykynurenine, and is localized as an oligomer in the mitochondrial outer membrane. In the human brain, KMO may play an important role in the formation of two neurotoxins, 3-hydroxykynurenine and quinolinic acid, both of which provoke severe neurodegenerative diseases. In mosquitos, it plays a role in the formation both of eye pigment and of an exflagellation-inducing factor (xanthurenic acid). Here, we present evidence that the C-terminal region of pig liver KMO plays a dual role. First, it is required for the enzymatic activity. Second, it functions as a mitochondrial targeting signal as seen in monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) or outer membrane cytochrome b5. The first role was shown by the comparison of the enzymatic activity of two mutants (C-terminally FLAG-tagged KMO and carboxyl-terminal truncation form, KMOΔC50) with that of the wild-type enzyme expressed in COS-7 cells. The second role was demonstrated with fluorescence microscopy by the comparison of the intracellular localization of the wild-type, three carboxyl-terminal truncated forms (ΔC20, ΔC30 and ΔC50), C-terminally FLAG-tagged wild-type and a mutant KMO, where two arginine residues, Arg461-Arg462, were replaced with Ser residues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes