The antipsychotic drug trifluoperazine has been long considered a calmodulin inhibitor from in vitro studies but may function in vivo as a more general inhibitor by disturbing ion fluxes and altering the membrane potential. Resistance to trifluoperazine can arise in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells by alterations in at least three distinct genetic loci. One locus, defined by a spontaneous dominant trifluoperazine resistance mutation (TFP1-408), was isolated and sequenced. The sequence of the TFP1-408 gene revealed a large open reading frame coding for a large protein of 1,031 amino acids with predicted hydrophobic transmembrane domains. A search of existing amino acid sequences revealed a significant homology with F0F1 ATP synthase. Mutant TFP1-408 cells did not grow efficiently in the presence of 50 mM CaCl2, whereas wild-type cells did. Wild-type cells became resistant to trifluoperazine in the presence of 50 mM CaCl2 or 50 mM MgCl2. Mutant cells showed a higher rate of calcium transport relative to wild-type cells. These data suggest that the TFP1 gene product codes for a transmembrane ATPase-like enzyme possibly involved in Ca2+ transport or in generating a transmembrane ion gradient between two cellular compartments.
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