The purification of xenobiotic/medium-chain fatty acid:CoA ligases (XM-ligases) from human liver mitochondria resulted in the isolation of two chromatographically separable forms (HXM-A and HXM-B). These two forms were purified to near homogeneity, cleaved with cyanogen bromide, the resulting peptides separated, and the N-terminus of two of the peptides partially sequenced. Identical sequences were obtained for HXM-A and HXM-B for the two peptides. These sequences were used to design probes for screening a human liver cDNA library. This resulted in the isolation of two overlapping cDNAs. Using these sequences we were able to design PCR primers that resulted in the isolation of a full-length cDNA from a human cDNA library. The cDNA contained 1731 bp of open reading frame and coded for a 64230-Da protein. This protein bears 56.2% amino acid homology to the MACS1 (medium-chain acyl-CoA synthetase) enzyme, 58.7% homology to the bovine XL-III XM-ligase, and 81.5% homology to the bovine XL-I XM-ligase. The cDNA could be expressed in COS cells, and the expressed enzyme had greater benzoate activity than phenylacetate activity, which is consistent with the known substrate specificity of HXM-A.
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