Complete sequence of a cDNA encoding an active rat choline acetyltransferase: a tool to investigate the plasticity of cholinergic phenotype expression

J Neurosci Res. 1989 Jul;23(3):266-73. doi: 10.1002/jnr.490230304.


A cDNA clone encoding the complete sequence of an active rat choline acetyltransferase (ChoAcTase; acetyl-CoA:choline O-acetyltransferase, EC has been isolated. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence reveals 85% and 31% identity with the porcine and Drosophila melanogaster enzymes, respectively. To further elucidate the molecular basis of neurotransmitter-related phenotypic plasticity, the expression of ChoAcTase mRNA was compared with that of tyrosine hydroxylase [TH; tyrosine 3-monooxygenase, L-tyrosine, tetrahydropteridine:oxygen oxidoreductase (3-hydroxylating), EC], in neurons from superior cervical ganglia grown in the following conditions: 1) normal medium, 2) high K+ medium, and 3) normal medium supplemented with 50% muscle-conditioned medium (CM). TH mRNA was expressed in all three media; its level rose in high K+ and decreased strikingly in the presence of CM. ChoAcTase mRNA could be visualized in CM, but fell to undetectable levels in normal and high K+ media. These results suggest that translational or post-translational mechanisms do not play a major role for the modulation of neurotransmitter-associated phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / genetics*
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Cholinergic Fibers / cytology
  • Cholinergic Fibers / enzymology*
  • Cholinergic Fibers / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / cytology
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / enzymology
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • DNA
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase