Antiquitin (Aldh7a1) is an evolutionarily conserved protein believed to play a role in the regulation of cellular turgor. Based on sequence analysis, this protein is classified as a member of the aldehyde dehydrogenase superfamily (1). Analysis of the amount of mRNA in various rat and human tissues indicates that the largest amounts are found in rat kidney and liver and in cultured human hepatoma cells. Only minimal amounts were detected in human peripheral blood leukocytes, rat lung, or cultured human fibroblasts (2). The plant homolog of ATQ1 is thought to be involved in regulating turgor pressure, a function that also would be essential for cells of the mammalian cochlea. Northern blots of 13 human fetal tissues show antiquitin to be highly expressed in cochlea, ovary, eye, heart, and kidney (3).
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