Molecular NeuroscienceMolecular characterization of the mouse vesicular acetylcholine transporter geneNaciff, Jorge M.1; Misawa, Hidemi2; Dedman, John R.1,3Author Information 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0576, USA 2Department of Neurology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience 2–6, Musashidai, Fuchu City, 183 Tokyo, Japan 3Corresponding Author: John R. Dedman Received 8 July 1997; accepted 21 August 1997 NeuroReport: November 10th, 1997 - Volume 8 - Issue 16 - p 3467-3473 Buy Abstract THE organization of the mouse choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) gene has been previously analyzed. Here we show that the first intron of the mouse ChAT gene contains an uninterrupted open reading frame. It is in the same transcriptional orientation as ChAT and encodes the vesicular acetylcholine (ACh) transporter (VAChT), the protein responsible for the translocation of cytoplasmic ACh into synaptic vesicles. The sequence of this transporter is very similar to the VAChT from rat and human (99% and 95% identity, respectively). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) analysis showed expression of mouse VAChT mRNA in spinal cord, brain (excluding the cerebellum) and brain stem, but not in peripheral tissues such as liver and kidney. Transgenic mouse analysis revealed that the 5′-flanking region of the mouse ChAT gene encompasses regulatory elements that allowed elevated expression of VAChT in the cholinergic system of transgenic mice. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.