Flavin adenine dinucleotide binding is the crucial step in alcohol oxidase assembly in the yeast Hansenula polymorpha

Melchior E. Evers, Vladimir Titorenko, Wim Harder, Ida van der Klei, Marten Veenhuis

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We have studied the role of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in the in vivo assembly of peroxisomal alcohol oxidase (AO) in the yeast Hansenula polymorpha. In previous studies, using a riboflavin (Rf) autotrophic mutant, an unequivocal judgement could not be made, since Rf-limitation led to a partial block of AO import in this mutant. This resulted in the accumulation of AO precursors in the cytosol where they remained separated from the putative peroxisomal AO assembly factors. In order to circumvent the peroxisomal membrane barrier, we have now studied AO assembly in a peroxisome-deficient/Rf-autotrophic double mutant (Delta per1.rif1) of H. polymorpha. By sucrose density centrifugation and native gel electrophoresis, three conformations of AO were detected in crude extracts of Delta per1.rif1 cells grown under Rf-limitation, namely active octameric AO and two inactive, monomeric forms. One of the latter forms lacked FAD; this form was barely detectable in extracts wild-type and Delta per1 cells, but had accumulated in the cytosol of rif1 cells. The second form of monomeric AO contained FAD; this form was also present in Delta per1 cells but absent/very low in wild-type and rif1 cells. In vivo only these FAD-containing: monomers associate into the active, octameric protein. We conclude that in H. polymorpha FAD binding to the AO monomer is mediated by a yet unknown peroxisomal factor and represents the crucial and essential step to enable AO oligomerization; the actual octamerization and the eventual crystallization in peroxisomes most probably occurs spontaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-923
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug-1996


  • alcohol oxidase
  • flavin adenine dinucleotide
  • peroxisomes
  • Hansenula polymorpha
  • protein translocation
  • protein assembly

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