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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Oct 1;406(1):105-15.

Cloning, expression, and characterization of a soluble calcium-activated nucleotidase, a human enzyme belonging to a new family of extracellular nucleotidases.

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  • 1Department of Inflammation Biology, Wyeth Research, 200 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA.


The salivary apyrases of blood-feeding arthropods are nucleotide-hydrolyzing enzymes implicated in the inhibition of host platelet aggregation through the hydrolysis of extracellular adenosine diphosphate. A human cDNA homologous to the apyrase cDNA of the blood-feeding bed bug was identified, revealing an open reading frame encoding a 371-amino acid protein. A cleavable signal peptide generates a secreted protein of 333 residues with a predicted core molecular mass of 37,193 Da. Expression in COS-1 cells produced a secreted apyrase in the cell media. The ADPase and ATPase activities were dependent upon calcium, with a pH optimum between pH 6.2 and 7.2. Interestingly, the preferred substrate was not ADP, as might be expected for an enzyme modulating platelet aggregation, but rather UDP, followed by GDP, UTP, GTP, ADP, and ATP. The nucleotidase did not hydrolyze nucleoside monophosphates. Size-exclusion chromatography and Western blot analysis revealed a molecular mass of approximately 34-37 kDa. Treatment of the enzyme with peptide N-glycosidase F indicated that the protein is glycosylated. Northern analysis identified the transcript in a range of human tissues, including testis, placenta, prostate, and lung. No traditional apyrase-conserved regions or nucleotide-binding domains were identified in this human enzyme, indicating membership in a new family of extracellular nucleotidases.

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