Studies on choline permeation through the plasma membrane and its incorporation into phosphatidyl choline of Ehrlich-Lettré-ascites tumor cells in vitro

Eur J Biochem. 1975 Feb 3;51(1):219-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1975.tb03922.x.


The initial rate of incorporation of 14C or 3H-labeled choline into Ehrlich-Lettre ascites cells of the glycogen-free strain seven days after inoculation was investigated in vitro. 1. At choline concentrations in the medium between 6 to 30 muM and 100 to 500 muM the choline uptake by the cells followed Michaelis-Menton Kinetics with V values between 31 to 100 and 59 to 500 pmol per minute at a given cell density, and average Q10-values of 2.1 at the high and of 2.4 at the low choline molarity. The K-m-values increased from 27 muM to 58.8 muM at low and from 0.11 mM to 0.22 mM at high choline concentrations over a temperature range between 15 degrees C and 37 degrees C. Arrhenius plot of the V values gave two lines, one with a transition temperature at 25 degrees C at low and one straight line at high choline concentrations, from which the energy of activation for choline uptake was determined to be 16 kcal/mol. 2. It is assumed that two systems exist for the choline uptake by the ascites cells. One, operative at low substrate concentrations, which is saturable and probably is to be classified as a carrier-mediated facilitated diffusion process, can be strongly inhibited by deoxyglucose or 2,4-dinitrophenol and also by substrate analogues such as chlorocholine or benzoylcholine. Ouabain affects this system to a lesser extent. The other system functioning at high choline concentrations may be a simple diffusion process, which is little inhibited by substrate analogues, ouabain and deoxyglucose; however, it is also inhibited by 2,4-dinitrophenol and p-chloromercuribenzoate. 3. Choline incorporation into the acid-insoluble material (lecithin) gave linear Michaelis-Menton kinetics at the low and the high substrate concentration respectively. K-m-values decreased with an increase in temperature at low and increased with rising temperature at high substrate concentrations thus reflecting a close relationship between choline uptake and its metabolism. Labeling of lecithin choline in the various subcellular fractions under the conditions of the functioning of a carrier-mediated process was in the order: mitochondria (50%) greater than plasma membranes (25%) greater nuclei (14%) greater than microsomes (9%) greater than supernatant (1.5%). 4. Treatment of the cells with p-chloromercuribenzoate or heat shock at 50 degrees C markedly reduced the cholinee uptake and concomitantly its conversion into lecithin. Kinetic analysis revealed that the inhibitory effect of p-chloromercuribenzoate was competitive and that of the heat shock non-competitive in nature. Further the choline uptake by the cells was found to be the rate-limiting step, since the rate of choline phosphorylation was determined by the extracellular choline concentration. Pulse chase experiments showed a rapid turnover of the choline moiety with a concomitant increase in activity of the lecithin fraction and little change within the choline phosphate pool.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzoates / pharmacology
  • Carcinoma, Ehrlich Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chlorine / pharmacology
  • Chloromercuribenzoates / pharmacology
  • Choline / analogs & derivatives
  • Choline / metabolism*
  • Choline / pharmacology
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacology
  • Nitrophenols / pharmacology
  • Ouabain / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylcholines / biosynthesis*
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics


  • Benzoates
  • Chloromercuribenzoates
  • Nitrophenols
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Chlorine
  • Ouabain
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Choline