Identification and characterization of an extramitochondrial human 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase

Christa Montgomery, Zhengtong Pei, Paul A. Watkins, Henry M. Miziorko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase-like protein (HMGCLL1) has been annotated in the Mammalian Genome Collection as a previously unidentified human HMG-CoA lyase (HMGCL). To test the validity of this annotation and evaluate the physiological role of the protein, plasmids were constructed for protein expression in Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris. Protein expression in E. coli produced insoluble material. In contrast, active HMGCLL1 could be recovered upon expression in P. pastoris. Antibodies were prepared against a unique peptide sequence found in the N terminus of the protein. In immunodetection experiments, the antibodies discriminated between HMGCLL1 and mitochondrial HMGCL. Purified enzyme was characterized and demonstrated to cleave HMG-CoA to acetoacetate and acetyl-CoA with catalytic and affinity properties comparable with human mitochondrial HMGCL. The deduced HMGCLL1 sequence contains an N-terminal myristoylation motif; the putative modification site was eliminated by construction of a G2A HMGCLL1. Modification of both proteins was attempted using human N-myristoyltransferase and [3H]myristoyl-CoA. Wild-type protein was clearly modified, whereas G2A protein was not labeled. Myristoylation of HMGCLL1 affects its cellular localization. Upon transfection of appropriate expression plasmids into COS1 cells, immunofluorescence detection indicates that G2A HMGCLL1 exhibits a diffuse pattern, suggesting a cytosolic location. In contrast, wildtype HMGCLL1 exhibits a punctate as well as a perinuclear immunostaining pattern, indicating myristoylation dependent association with nonmitochondrial membrane compartments. In control experiments with the HMGCL expression plasmid, protein is localized in the mitochondria, as anticipated. The available results for COS1 cell expression, as well as endogenous expression in U87 cells, indicate that HMGCLL1 is an extramitochondrial hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA lyase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33227-33236
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Sep 28 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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