O

ch3 I 3

CH3 — C—O—CH2 — CH2—N+ — CH3 + CoA—SH

Acetylcholine

Synaptic vesicles take up and concentrate acetylcholine from the cytosol against a steep concentration gradient, using an H+/acetylcholine antiporter in the vesicle membrane. Curiously, the gene encoding this antiporter is contained entirely within the first intron of the gene encoding choline acetyl-transferase, a mechanism conserved throughout evolution for ensuring coordinate expression of these two proteins. Different H+/neurotransmitter antiport proteins are used for import of other neurotransmitters into synaptic vesicles.

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