Author(s): Oda Y, Nakanishi I, Deguchi T
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Abstract Complementary DNA (cDNA) clones containing the entire coding region of human choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) were isolated from cDNA libraries prepared from the autopsied spinal cord. In the human cDNA, the ATG codon assigned to the putative initiation codon for pig, rat and mouse ChAT cDNAs was replaced by ACG. The human cDNA contained an in-frame ATG codon 324 nucleotides upstream of the ACG codon. Therefore, human ChAT cDNA should code for a 748 amino acid polypeptide of 82.6 kDa. This deduced molecular weight was larger than that of ChAT protein purified from the human brain and placenta (64-70 kDa). The human ChAT cDNA containing the entire coding region was ligated to an expression vector and introduced into African green monkey kidney (COS) cells and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The cells expressed high ChAT activity and produced two protein bands immunostained with an antibody to monkey ChAT. The molecular weight of the proteins was estimated to be approximately 70 and 80 kDa by polyacrylamide-SDS gel electrophoresis. When partial cDNAs that lacked the first ATG but contained the replaced ACG codon were introduced into COS cells, the cells expressed moderate ChAT activity and an immunoreactive protein band of 70 kDa. These results indicate that translation of human ChAT mRNA starts at two sites and produces two enzyme proteins with different molecular weights. It might be that the larger form of ChAT molecule is an enzyme precursor for processing or that the N-terminal extrapeptide is needed for subcellular localization of the enzyme.
This article was published in Brain Res Mol Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism