Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Immun. 1992 Jan-Feb;11(1):1-6.

Natural killer cells lack ecto-5'-nucleotidase.

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases M, Rigshospitalet, University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Ecto-5'-nucleotidase (ecto-5'-NUC, EC, CD73) is a plasma membrane enzyme, which catalyzes the hydrolytic dephosphorylation of purine nucleotides to the corresponding nucleosides so that they can pass through the plasma membrane. The distribution of ecto-5'-NUC is heterogeneous, but all blood mononuclear cell (BMC) subpopulations investigated until now have had ecto-5'-NUC activity. Purified natural killer (NK) cells were prepared by fluorescence-activated cell sorting of CD16-positive cells (purity 94%). In purified NK cells the ecto-5'-NUC activity was less than 1 U/10(6) as estimated by a radioisotope method. Using a cytochemical assay, the proportion of cells with activity was less than 1%. The most likely explanation is that NK cells have no ecto-5'-NUC activity and that the very small ecto-5'-NUC activity observed in this study was caused by contaminating non-NK cells. NK cells thus constitute the only BMC subset known without ecto-5'-NUC activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk