The L-lactate dehydrogenase gene of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima cloned by complementation in Escherichia coli.
The gene for a L(+)-lactate dehydrogenase from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima was cloned by complementation of an Escherichia coli pfl. Idh mutant. The gene is part of a 4.5 kb SauIIIA fragment obtained by partial digestion of the Thermotoga genome. The DNA fragment was physically mapped and the putative Shine-Dalgarno sequence within the non-coding region determined. The gene contains 960 bp, including the stop codon, corresponding to 319 amino acids/subunit of the homotetrameric enzyme. Part of the amino acid sequence was confirmed by Edman degradation of peptides obtained from nanomolar quantities of the purified enzyme by tryptic digestion. A comparison of the amino acid sequence with those of known prokaryotic L-lactate dehydrogenases reveals a high similarity, especially with the enzyme from thermophilic sources, where up to 48% identity is found. The gene was expressed as an active enzyme in a heterologous host.