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FEBS Lett. 2000 Oct 20;483(2-3):149-54.

Pantetheinase activity of membrane-bound Vanin-1: lack of free cysteamine in tissues of Vanin-1 deficient mice.

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Dipartmento di Biologia di Base ed Applicata Università di L'Aquila, Italy.


Pantetheinase (EC 3.5.1.-) is an ubiquitous enzyme which in vitro has been shown to recycle pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and to produce cysteamine, a potent anti-oxidant. We show that the Vanin-1 gene encodes pantetheinase widely expressed in mouse tissues: (1) a pantetheinase activity is specifically expressed by Vanin-1 transfectants and is immunodepleted by specific antibodies; (2) Vanin-1 is a GPI-anchored pantetheinase, and consequently an ectoenzyme; (3) Vanin-1 null mice are deficient in membrane-bound pantetheinase activity in kidney and liver; (4) in these organs, a major metabolic consequence is the absence of detectable free cysteamine; this demonstrates that membrane-bound pantetheinase is the main source of cysteamine in tissues under physiological conditions. Since the Vanin-1 molecule was previously shown to be involved in the control of thymus reconstitution following sublethal irradiation in vivo, this raises the possibility that Vanin/pantetheinase might be involved in the regulation of some immune functions maybe in the context of the response to oxidative stress.

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