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An electric lobe suppressor for a yeast choline transport mutation belongs to a new family of transporter-like proteins.

O'Regan S., Traiffort E., Ruat M., Cha N., Compaore D., Meunier F.-M.

Choline is an important metabolite in all cells due to the major contribution of phosphatidylcholine to the production of membranes, but it takes on an added role in cholinergic neurons where it participates in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. We have cloned a suppressor for a yeast choline transport mutation from a Torpedo electric lobe yeast expression library by functional complementation. The full-length clone encodes a protein with 10 putative transmembrane domains, two of which contain transporter-like motifs, and whose expression increased high-affinity choline uptake in mutant yeast. The gene was called CTL1 for its choline transporter-like properties. The homologous rat gene, rCTL1, was isolated and found to be highly expressed as a 3. 5-kb transcript in the spinal cord and brain and as a 5-kb transcript in the colon. In situ hybridization showed strong expression of rCTL1 in motor neurons and oligodendrocytes and to a lesser extent in various neuronal populations throughout the rat brain. High levels of rCTL1 were also identified in the mucosal cell layer of the colon. Although the sequence of the CTL1 gene shows clear homology with a single gene in Caenorhabditis elegans, several homologous genes are found in mammals (CTL2-4). These results establish a new family of genes for transporter-like proteins in eukaryotes and suggest that one of its members, CTL1, is involved in supplying choline to certain cell types, including a specific subset of cholinergic neurons.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97:1835-1840(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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