The cDNA coding for mouse aldehyde oxidase (AO), a molybdoflavoprotein, has been isolated and characterized. The cDNA is 4347 nt long and consists of an open reading frame predicting a polypeptide of 1333 amino acid residues, with 5ʹ and 3ʹ untranslated regions of 13 and 335 nt respectively. The apparent molecular mass of the translation product in vitro derived from the corresponding cRNA is consistent with that of the monomeric subunit of the AO holoenzyme. The cDNA codes for a catalytically active form of AO, as demonstrated by transient transfection experiments conducted in the HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cell line. The deduced primary structure of the AO protein contains consensus sequences for two distinct 2Fe-2S redox centres and a molybdopterin-binding site. The amino acid sequence of the mouse AO has a high degree of similarity with the human and bovine counterparts, and a significant degree of relatedness to AO proteins of plant origin. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrate that hepatocytes, cardiocytes, lung endothelial or epithelial cells and oesophagus epithelial cells express high levels of AO mRNA. In the various tissues and organs considered, the level of AO mRNA expression is not strictly correlated with the amount of the corresponding protein, suggesting that the synthesis of the AO enzyme is under translational or post-translational control. In addition, we observed sex-related regulation of AO protein synthesis. In the liver of male animals, despite similar amounts of AO mRNA, the levels of the AO enzyme and corresponding polypeptide are significantly higher than those in female animals. Treatment of female mice with testosterone increases the amounts of AO mRNA and of the relative translation product to levels similar to those in male animals.
The nucleotide sequence data reported will appear in DDBJ, EMBL and GenBank Nucleotide Sequence Databases under the accession number AF076216.