malvolio, the Drosophila homologue of mouse NRAMP-1 (Bcg), is expressed in macrophages and in the nervous system and is required for normal taste behaviour

EMBO J. 1995 Jul 3;14(13):3007-20.


We report the sequence, expression pattern and mutant phenotype of malvolio (mvl), the Drosophila homologue of mammalian natural resistance-associated macrophage proteins (NRAMPs). In the mouse, this novel transporter is encoded by Bcg, a dominant gene that confers natural resistance to intracellular parasites. mvl was identified in a screen for mutants that affect taste behaviour. We show that loss-of-function as well as insertional mutants in mvl display defects in taste behaviour with no alterations in the physiology of the sensory neurons. Activity of the reporter enzyme beta-galactosidase, that reflects the expression pattern of mvl, is seen in mature sensory neurons and in macrophages. The conceptual translation of the mvl cDNA shows a striking similarity (65% identity) with human NRAMP with almost complete identity in a conserved consensus motif found in a number of ATP-coupled transporters. Based on its phenotype and expression pattern as well as its structural similarities to NRAMPs and a nitrate transporter in Aspergillus nidulans, we discuss a possible role for MVL in nitrite/nitrate transport and its implications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Cation Transport Proteins*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Fructose / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Ion Pumps*
  • Iron-Binding Proteins*
  • Larva / cytology
  • Larva / genetics
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Pupa / cytology
  • Pupa / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sodium Chloride / metabolism
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Taste / genetics*
  • Trehalose / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Ion Pumps
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • mvl protein, Drosophila
  • natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1
  • solute carrier family 11- (proton-coupled divalent metal ion transporters), member 2
  • Fructose
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sucrose
  • Trehalose

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U23948