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EMBO J. Jul 3, 1995; 14(13): 3007–3020.
PMCID: PMC394361

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.

Abstract

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.

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