The Klebsiella aerogenes gene maoA, which is involved in the synthesis of monoamine oxidase, was induced by tyramine and the related compounds, subjected to catabolite and ammonium ion repression, and cloned. The nucleotide sequence of the region involved in monoamine oxidase synthesis was determined. Two open reading frames, the maoA gene and a hitherto unknown gene (maoC), were found. These are located between a potential promoter sequence and a transcriptional terminator sequence. A region of the Escherichia coli chromosome that was highly homologous to the Klebsiella maoA gene was found. The potential maoA gene is located at 30.9 min on the E. coli chromosome. Analysis of the amino acid sequences of the first 11 amino acids from the N terminus of the purified monoamine oxidase agrees with those deduced from the nucleotide sequence of the maoA gene. The leader peptide extends over 30 amino acids and has the characteristics of a signal sequence. Primer extension and S1 nuclease mapping of transcripts generated in vivo suggests that the tyramine-induced mRNA starts at a site 62 bases upstream from the ATG initiation codon of the maoC gene. In the putative promoter region, a high degree of similarity to the consensus sequence for the binding site of cyclic AMP receptor protein was found. Thus, the mao region is composed of two cistrons, and the mao operon is regulated by monoamine compounds, glucose, and ammonium ions.
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