Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Genetic regulation of malic enzyme activity in the mouse.

Document Type


Publication Date



Blotting-Southern, Chromosome-Mapping, Crosses-Genetic, DNA, Female, Gene-Expression-Regulation-Enzymologic, Kinetics, Liver, Malate-Dehydrogenase, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Inbred-DBA, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Restriction-Mapping, Support-U, S, -Gov't-P, H, S, Thyroid-Gland

JAX Source

J Biol Chem 1991 Nov 15; 266(32):21997-2002.




Cytosolic malic enzyme catalyzes the NADP(+)-dependent oxidative decarboxylation of malate to pyruvate and CO2. Additionally, this enzyme produces large amounts of reducing equivalents (NADPH) required for de novo fatty acid synthesis and provides a precursor for oxaloacetate replacement in the mitochondria. Malic enzyme is considered a key lipogenic enzyme and changes in enzyme activity parallel changes in the lipogenic rate. As would be expected, the activity of malic enzyme responds to a variety of dietary and hormonal factors acting mainly on the rate of enzyme synthesis. In the mouse, the structural locus for malic enzyme (Mod-1) is located on chromosome 9. Two alleles reflecting differences in electrophoretic mobility have been identified. This report demonstrates that the amount of hepatic malic enzyme activity is strain-dependent and is regulated by a malic enzyme regulator locus (Mod1r) located on the proximal end of chromosome 12. Two alleles have been identified: Mod1ra, conferring high enzyme activity (C57BL/6J), and Mod1rb, conferring low enzyme activity (C57BL/KsJ). Biochemical studies have demonstrated differences in the apparent Km and Vmax and in specific activity on purification and immunoprecipitation, features that suggest changes in enzyme structure even though no differences were observed by electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing. These combined data suggest that differences in both enzyme quantity and structure may be involved in the genetic regulation of malic enzyme activity in mice.