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

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.

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Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, National University of Singapore.


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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