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J Biol Chem. 1997 May 16;272(20):12945-51.

CD38 and ADP-ribosyl cyclase catalyze the synthesis of a dimeric ADP-ribose that potentiates the calcium-mobilizing activity of cyclic ADP-ribose.

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Institute of Biochemistry, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy.


CD38, a lymphocyte differentiation antigen, is also a bifunctional enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) from NAD+ and its hydrolysis to ADP-ribose (ADPR). An additional enzymatic activity of CD38 shared by monofunctional ADP-ribosyl cyclase from Aplysia californica is the exchange of the base group of NAD+ (nicotinamide) with various nucleophiles. Both human CD38 (either recombinant or purified from erythrocyte membranes) and Aplysia cyclase were found to catalyze the exchange of ADPR with the nicotinamide group of NAD+ leading to the formation of a dimeric ADPR ((ADPR)2). The dimeric structure of the enzymatic product, which was generated by recombinant CD38 and by CD38(+) Namalwa cells from as low as 10 microM NAD+, was demonstrated using specific enzyme treatments (dinucleotide pyrophosphatase and 5'-nucleotidase) and mass spectrometry analyses of the resulting products. The linkage between the two ADPR units of (ADPR)2 was identified as that between the N1 of the adenine nucleus of one ADPR unit and the anomeric carbon of the terminal ribose of the second ADPR molecule by enzymatic analyses and by comparison with patterns of cADPR cleavage with Me2SO:tert-butoxide. Although (ADPR)2 itself did not release Ca2+ from sea urchin egg microsomal vesicles, it specifically potentiated the Ca2+-releasing activity of subthreshold concentrations of cADPR. Therefore, (ADPR)2 is a new product of CD38 that amplifies the Ca2+-mobilizing activity of cADPR.

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