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J Biol Chem. 1989 Mar 25;264(9):4888-95.

Transport and phosphorylation of choline in higher plant cells. Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance studies.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires, Grenoble, France.


When sycamore cells were suspended in basal medium containing choline, the latter was taken up by the cells very rapidly. A facilitated diffusion system appertained at low concentrations of choline and exhibited Michaelis-Menten kinetics. At higher choline concentrations simple diffusion appeared to be the principal mode of uptake. Addition of choline to the perfusate of compressed sycamore cells monitored by 31P NMR spectroscopy resulted in a dramatic accumulation of P-choline in the cytoplasmic compartment containing choline kinase and not in the vacuole. The total accumulation of P-choline over a 10-h period exhibited Michaelis-Menten kinetics. During this period, in the absence of Pi in the perfusion medium there was a marked depletion of glucose-6-P, and the cytoplasmic Pi resonance disappeared almost completely. When a threshold of cytoplasmic Pi was attained, the phosphorylation of choline was sustained by the continuous release of Pi from the vacuole although at a much lower rate. However, when 100 microM inorganic phosphate was present in the perfusion medium, externally added Pi was preferentially used to sustain P-choline synthesis. It is clear, therefore, that cytosolic choline kinase associated with a carrier-mediated transport system for choline uptake appeared as effective systems for continuously trapping cytoplasmic Pi including vacuolar Pi entering the cytoplasm.

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