Three-dimensional structure of human monoamine oxidase A (MAO A): Relation to the structures of rat MAO A and human MAO B

Luigi De Colibus, Min Li, Claudia Binda, Ariel Lustig, Dale E. Edmondson, Andrea Mattevi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

352 Scopus citations


The three-dimensional structure of recombinant human monoamine oxidase A (hMAO A) as its clorgyline-inhibited adduct is described. Although the chain-fold of hMAO A is similar to that of rat MAO A and human MAO B (hMAO B), hMAO A is unique in that it crystallizes as a monomer and exhibits the solution hydrodynamic behavior of a monomeric form rather than the dimeric form of hMAO B and rat MAO A. hMAO A's active site consists of a single hydrophobic cavity of ≈550 Å3, which is smaller than that determined from the structure of deprenyl-inhibited hMAO B (≈700 Å3) but larger than that of rat MAO A (≈450 Å3). An important component of the active site structure of hMAO A is the loop conformation of residues 210-216, which differs from that of hMAO B and rat MAO A. The origin of this structural alteration is suggested to result from long-range interactions in the monomeric form of the enzyme. In addition to serving as a basis for the development of hMAO A specific inhibitors, these data support the proposal that hMAO A involves a change from the dimeric to the monomeric form through a Glu-151 → Lys mutation that is specific of hMAO A [Andrès, A. M., Soldevila, M., Navarro, A., Kidd, K. K., Oliva, B. & Bertranpetit, J. (2004) Hum. Genet. 115, 377-386]. These considerations put into question the use of MAO A from nonhuman sources in drug development for use in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12684-12689
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 6 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressant target
  • Flavin
  • Membrane protein
  • Neurotransmitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional structure of human monoamine oxidase A (MAO A): Relation to the structures of rat MAO A and human MAO B'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this