Mutagenesis at a Highly Conserved Tyrosine in Monoamine Oxidase B Affects FAD Incorporation and Catalytic Activity

Binhua P. Zhou, Duane A. Lewis, S. W. Kwan, Timothy J. Kirksey, Creed W. Abell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Monoamine oxidase B (MAO B), an integral protein of the outer mitochondrial membrane, catalyzes the oxidative deamination of various neuroactive and vasoactive amines. A covalently bound FAD cofactor at Cys-397 of human MAO B is required for the oxidation of the amine substrates. In addition to the covalent binding site, MAO B also contains a noncovalent FAD binding region (residues 6-34) known as the dinucleotide binding motif. Previously, we have shown that Glu-34 is required for catalytic activity, presumably by forming a hydrogen bond between the carboxylate group of glutamate and the 2'-hydroxyl group of ribose in the AMP moiety of FAD. In this work, we have identified a third FAD binding site in MAO B (residues 39-46) by sequence comparisons to other flavoenzymes. The conserved sequence contains a tyrosine residue (Tyr-44) which, based on the X-ray crystal structure of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase, is postulated to participate in FAD binding through van der Waals contact with the isoalloxazine ring and a hydrogen bond to the 3'-hydroxy of the ribityl moiety. To test the postulated role of this tyrosine residue, site-directed mutants that encode substitutions at Tyr-44 were prepared and expressed in mammalian COS-7 cells. Variant MAO B enzymes were then characterized with respect to enzymatic activity and [14C]FAD incorporation. Substitution of tyrosine with phenylalanine had no effect on MAO B activity or the level of [14C]FAD incorporation compared to the wild-type enzyme, indicating that the hydroxyl group of the tyrosine residue was not essential at residue 44. Substitution of tyrosine with serine or alanine, however, which do not have an aromatic ring, resulted in a dramatic decrease in enzymatic activity and FAD incorporation. We conclude that the aromatic ring of the tyrosine residue at position 44 is required for FAD binding and catalytic activity of MAO B.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9526-9531
Number of pages6
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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