CTP–phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CT) is a key regulatory enzyme in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in many cells. Enzyme–membrane interactions appear to play an important role in CT activation. A putative membrane-binding domain appears to be located between residues 236 and 293 from the N-terminus. To map the membrane-binding domain more precisely, glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins were prepared that contained deletions of various domains in this putative lipid-binding region. The fusion proteins were assessed for their binding of [3H]PC/oleic acid vesicles. Fusion proteins encompassing residues 267–277 bound to PC/oleic acid vesicles, whereas fragments lacking this region exhibited no specific binding to the lipid vesicles. The membrane-binding characteristics of the CT fusion proteins were also examined using intact lung microsomes. Only fragments encompassing residues 267–277 competed with full-length 125I-labelled CT, expressed in recombinant Sf9 insect cells, for microsomal membrane binding. To investigate the role of this region in PC biosynthesis, A549 and L2 cells were transfected with cDNA for CT mutants under the control of a glucocorticoid-inducible long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter. Induction of CT mutants containing residues 267–277 in transfectants resulted in reduced PC synthesis. The decrease in PC synthesis was accompanied by a shift in endogenous CT activity from the particulate to the soluble fraction. Expression of CT mutants lacking this region in A549 and L2 cells did not affect PC formation and subcellular distribution of CT activity. These results suggest that the CT region located between residues 267 and 277 from the N-terminus is required for the interaction of CT with membranes.

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