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1.  Nucleotide Pyrophosphatase/Phosphodiesterase 1 Exerts a Negative Effect on Starch Accumulation and Growth in Rice Seedlings under High Temperature and CO2 Concentration Conditions 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2013;55(2):320-332.
Nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) is a widely distributed enzymatic activity occurring in both plants and mammals that catalyzes the hydrolytic breakdown of the pyrophosphate and phosphodiester bonds of a number of nucleotides. Unlike mammalian NPPs, the physiological function of plant NPPs remains largely unknown. Using a complete rice NPP1-encoding cDNA as a probe, in this work we have screened a rice shoot cDNA library and obtained complete cDNAs corresponding to six NPP genes (NPP1–NPP6). As a first step to clarify the role of NPPs, recombinant NPP1, NPP2 and NPP6 were purified from transgenic rice cells constitutively expressing NPP1, NPP2 and NPP6, respectively, and their enzymatic properties were characterized. NPP1 and NPP6 exhibited hydrolytic activities toward ATP, UDP-glucose and the starch precursor molecule, ADP-glucose, whereas NPP2 did not recognize nucleotide sugars as substrates, but hydrolyzed UDP, ADP and adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate. To gain insight into the physiological function of rice NPP1, an npp1 knockout mutant was characterized. The ADP-glucose hydrolytic activities in shoots of npp1 rice seedlings were 8% of those of the wild type (WT), thus indicating that NPP1 is a major determinant of ADP-glucose hydrolytic activity in rice shoots. Importantly, when seedlings were cultured at 160 Pa CO2 under a 28°C/23°C (12 h light/12 h dark) regime, npp1 shoots and roots were larger than those of wild-type (WT) seedlings. Furthermore, the starch content in the npp1 shoots was higher than that of WT shoots. Growth and starch accumulation were also enhanced under an atmospheric CO2 concentration (40 Pa) when plants were cultured under a 33°C/28°C regime. The overall data strongly indicate that NPP1 exerts a negative effect on plant growth and starch accumulation in shoots, especially under high CO2 concentration and high temperature conditions.
PMCID: PMC3913438  PMID: 24092883
ADP-glucose; CO2; NPP; Oryza sativa; Plastid; Starch
2.  Proteoliposomes Harboring Alkaline Phosphatase and Nucleotide Pyrophosphatase as Matrix Vesicle Biomimetics* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2010;285(10):7598-7609.
We have established a proteoliposome system as an osteoblast-derived matrix vesicle (MV) biomimetic to facilitate the study of the interplay of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) and NPP1 (nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-1) during catalysis of biomineralization substrates. First, we studied the incorporation of TNAP into liposomes of various lipid compositions (i.e. in pure dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), DPPC/dipalmitoyl phosphatidylserine (9:1 and 8:2), and DPPC/dioctadecyl-dimethylammonium bromide (9:1 and 8:2) mixtures. TNAP reconstitution proved virtually complete in DPPC liposomes. Next, proteoliposomes containing either recombinant TNAP, recombinant NPP1, or both together were reconstituted in DPPC, and the hydrolysis of ATP, ADP, AMP, pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP), p-nitrophenyl phosphate, p-nitrophenylthymidine 5′-monophosphate, and PPi by these proteoliposomes was studied at physiological pH. p-Nitrophenylthymidine 5′-monophosphate and PLP were exclusively hydrolyzed by NPP1-containing and TNAP-containing proteoliposomes, respectively. In contrast, ATP, ADP, AMP, PLP, p-nitrophenyl phosphate, and PPi were hydrolyzed by TNAP-, NPP1-, and TNAP plus NPP1-containing proteoliposomes. NPP1 plus TNAP additively hydrolyzed ATP, but TNAP appeared more active in AMP formation than NPP1. Hydrolysis of PPi by TNAP-, and TNAP plus NPP1-containing proteoliposomes occurred with catalytic efficiencies and mild cooperativity, effects comparable with those manifested by murine osteoblast-derived MVs. The reconstitution of TNAP and NPP1 into proteoliposome membranes generates a phospholipid microenvironment that allows the kinetic study of phosphosubstrate catabolism in a manner that recapitulates the native MV microenvironment.
PMCID: PMC2844207  PMID: 20048161
Calcium/ATPase; Cell/Compartmentation; Enzymes/ATPases; Membrane/Enzymes; Membrane/Reconstitution; Methods/Liposomes; Subcellular Organelles/Vesicles
3.  Promiscuous sulfatase activity and thio-effects in a phosphodiesterase of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily† 
Biochemistry  2008;47(48):12853-12859.
The nucleotide phosphodiesterase/pyrophosphatase from Xanthomonas axonopodis (NPP) is a structural and evolutionary relative of alkaline phosphatase that preferentially hydrolyzes phosphate diesters. With the goal of understanding how these two enzymes with nearly identical Zn2+ bimetallo sites achieve high selectivity for hydrolysis of either phosphate monoesters or diesters, we have measured a promiscuous sulfatase activity in NPP. Sulfate esters are nearly isosteric with phosphate esters but carry less charge, offering a probe of electrostatic contributions to selectivity. NPP exhibits sulfatase activity with kcat/KM value of 2 × 10−5 M−1s−1, similar to the R166S mutant of alkaline phosphatase. We further report the effects of thio-substitution on phosphate monoester and diester reactions. Reactivities with these non-cognate substrates illustrate a reduced dependence of NPP reactivity on the charge of the nonbridging oxygen situated between the Zn2+ ions relative to that in alkaline phosphatase. This reduced charge dependence can explain about 102 of the 107-fold differential catalytic proficiency for the most similar monoester and diester substrates in the two enzymes. The results further suggest that active site contacts to substrate oxygen atoms that do not contact the Zn2+ ions may play an important role in defining the selectivity of the enzymes.
PMCID: PMC2662379  PMID: 18975918
4.  Highly Potent and Selective Ectonucleotide Pyrophosphatase/Phosphodiesterase I Inhibitors Based on an Adenosine 5′-(α or γ)- Thio-(α,β- or β,γ)-methylenetriphosphate Scaffold 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2014;57(11):4677-4691.
Aberrant nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-1 (NPP1) activity is associated with chondrocalcinosis, osteoarthritis, and type 2 diabetes. The potential of NPP1 inhibitors as therapeutic agents, and the scarceness of their structure–activity relationship, encouraged us to develop new NPP1 inhibitors. Specifically, we synthesized ATP-α-thio-β,γ- CH2 (1), ATP-α-thio-β,γ-CCl2 (2), ATP-α-CH2-γ-thio (3), and 8-SH-ATP (4) and established their resistance to hydrolysis by NPP1,3 and NTPDase1,2,3,8 (<5% hydrolysis) (NTPDase = ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase). Analogues 1–3 at 100 μM inhibited thymidine 5′-monophosphate p-nitrophenyl ester hydrolysis by NPP1 and NPP3 by >90% and 23–43%, respectively, and only slightly affected (0–40%) hydrolysis of ATP by NTPDase1,2,3,8. Analogue 3 is the most potent NPP1 inhibitor currently known, Ki = 20 nM and IC50 = 0.39 μM. Analogue 2a is a selective NPP1 inhibitor with Ki = 685 nM and IC50 = 0.57 μM. Analogues 1–3 were found mostly to be nonagonists of P2Y1/P2Y2/P2Y11 receptors. Docking analogues 1–3 into the NPP1 model suggested that activity correlates with the number of H-bonds with binding site residues. In conclusion, we propose analogues 2a and 3 as highly promising NPP1 inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4363092  PMID: 24846781
5.  Physiologic and pathologic functions of the NPP nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase family focusing on NPP1 in calcification 
Purinergic Signalling  2006;2(2):371-377.
The catabolism of ATP and other nucleotides participates partly in the important function of nucleotide salvage by activated cells and also in removal or de novo generation of compounds including ATP, ADP, and adenosine that stimulate purinergic signaling. Seven nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase NPP family members have been identified to date. These isoenzymes, related by up conservation of catalytic domains and certain other modular domains, exert generally non-redundant functions via distinctions in substrates and/or cellular localization. But they share the capacity to hydrolyze phosphodiester or pyrophosphate bonds, though generally acting on distinct substrates that include nucleoside triphosphates, lysophospholipids and choline phosphate esters. PPi generation from nucleoside triphosphates, catalyzed by NPP1 in tissues including cartilage, bone, and artery media smooth muscle cells, supports normal tissue extracellular PPi levels. Balance in PPi generation relative to PPi degradation by pyrophosphatases holds extracellular PPi levels in check. Moreover, physiologic levels of extracellular PPi suppress hydroxyapatite crystal growth, but concurrently providing a reservoir for generation of pro-mineralizing Pi. Extracellular PPi levels must be supported by cells in mineralization-competent tissues to prevent pathologic calcification. This support mechanism becomes dysregulated in aging cartilage, where extracellular PPi excess, mediated in part by upregulated NPP1 expression stimulates calcification. PPi generated by NPP1modulates not only hydroxyapatite crystal growth but also chondrogenesis and expression of the mineralization regulator osteopontin. This review pays particular attention to the role of NPP1-catalyzed PPi generation in the pathogenesis of certain disorders associated with pathologic calcification.
PMCID: PMC2254483  PMID: 18404477
ANK; ANKH; cartilage; inorganic phosphate; inorganic pyrophosphate; osteopontin
6.  Novel point mutations attenuate autotaxin activity 
The secreted enzyme autotaxin (ATX) stimulates tumor cell migration, tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. ATX hydrolyzes nucleotides, but its hydrolysis of lysophospholipids to produce lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) accounts for its biological activities. ATX has been identified only as a constitutively active enzyme, and regulation of its activity is largely unexplored. In spite of its presence in plasma along with abundant putative substrate LPC, the product LPA is found in plasma at unexpectedly low concentrations. It is plausible that the LPA-producing activity of ATX is regulated by its expression and by access to substrate(s). For this reason studying the interaction of enzyme with substrate is paramount to understanding the regulation of LPA production.
In this study we determine ATX hydrolytic activities toward several artificial and natural substrates. Two novel point mutations near the enzyme active site (H226Q and H434Q) confer attenuated activity toward all substrates tested. The Vmax for LPC compounds depends upon chain length and saturation; but this order does not differ among wild type and mutants. However the mutant forms show disproportionately low activity toward two artificial substrates, pNpTMP and FS-3. The mutant forms did not significantly stimulate migration responses at concentrations that produced a maximum response for WT-ATX, but this defect could be rescued by inclusion of exogenous LPC.
H226Q-ATX and H434Q-ATX are the first point mutations of ATX/NPP2 demonstrated to differentially impair substrate hydrolysis, with hydrolysis of artificial substrates being disproportionately lower than that of LPC. This implies that H226 and H434 are important for substrate interaction. Assays that rely on hydrolyses of artificial substrates (FS-3 and pNpTMP), or that rely on hydrolysis of cell-derived substrate, might fail to detect certain mutated forms of ATX that are nonetheless capable of producing LPA in the presence of sufficient exogenous substrate. H420Q-ATX could not be differentiated from WT-ATX, indicating that histidine at position 420 is not required for any of the activities of ATX tested in this study.
PMCID: PMC2649126  PMID: 19222837
7.  Benzyl and Naphthalene-Methyl Phosphonic Acid Inhibitors of Autotaxin with Anti-invasive and Anti-metastatic Actions 
ChemMedChem  2011;6(5):922-935.
Autotaxin (ATX, NPP2) is a member of the nucleotide pyrophosphate phosphodiesterase enzyme family. ATX catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) via a lysophospholipase D activity that leads to the generation of the growth factor-like lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). ATX is highly upregulated in metastatic and chemotherapy-resistant carcinomas and represents a potential target to mediate cancer invasion and metastasis. Here we report the synthesis and pharmacological characterization of inhibitors of ATX based on the 4-tetradecanoylaminobenzyl phosphonic acid scaffold that was previously found to lack sufficient stability in cellular systems. The new 4-substituted benzyl phosphonic acid and 6-substituted naphthalen-2-yl-methyl phosphonic acid analogs blocked ATX with Ki values in the low-micromolar-nanomolar range against FS-3, LPC, and nucleotide substrates through a mixed-mode mechanism of inhibition. None of the compounds tested inhibited the activity of related enzymes (NPP6 and NPP7). In addition, the compounds were evaluated as agonists or antagonists of seven LPA receptor subtypes. Analogs 22 and 30b, the two most potent ATX inhibitors, dose-dependently inhibited the invasion of MM1 hepatoma cells across murine mesothelial and human vascular endothelial monolayers in vitro. The average terminal half-life for compound 22 was 10h ± 5.4h and it caused a long-lasting reduction plasma LPA levels. Compounds 22 and 30b significantly reduced lung metastasis of B16-F10 syngeneic mouse melanoma in a post-inoculation treatment paradigm. The described 4-substituted benzyl phosphonic acids and 6-substituted naphthalen-2-yl-methyl phosphonic acids represent new lead compounds that effectively inhibit the ATX-LPA-LPA receptor axis both in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3517046  PMID: 21465666
ATX inhibitors; LPA receptors; 4-substituted benzyl phosphonic acids; 6-substituted naphthalen-2-yl-methyl phosphonic acids; structure-activity relationships
8.  QM/MM analysis suggests that Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) and Nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase slightly tighten the transition state for phosphate diester hydrolysis relative to solution: implication for catalytic promiscuity in the AP superfamily 
Several members of the Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) superfamily exhibit a high level of catalytic proficiency and promiscuity in structurally similar active sites. A thorough characterization of the nature of transition state for different substrates in these enzymes is crucial for understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern those remarkable catalytic properties. In this work, we study the hydrolysis of a phosphate diester, MpNPP−, in solution, two experimentally well-characterized variants of AP (R166S AP, R166S/E322Y AP) and wild type Nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) by QM/MM calculations in which the QM method is an approximate density functional theory previously parameterized for phosphate hydrolysis (SCC-DFTBPR). The general agreements found between these calculations and available experimental data for both solution and enzymes support the use of SCC-DFTBPR/MM for a semi-quantitative analysis of the catalytic mechanism and nature of transition state in AP and NPP. Although phosphate diesters are cognate substrates for NPP but promiscuous substrates for AP, the calculations suggest that their hydrolysis reactions catalyzed by AP and NPP feature similar synchronous transition states that are slightly tighter in nature compared to that in solution, due in part to the geometry of the bimetallic zinc motif. Therefore, this study provides the first direct computational support to the hypothesis that enzymes in the AP superfamily catalyze cognate and promiscuous substrates via similar transition states to those in solution. Our calculations do not support the finding of recent QM/MM studies by López-Canut and coworkers, who suggested that the same diester substrate goes through a much looser transition state in NPP/AP than in solution, a result likely biased by the large structural distortion of the bimetallic zinc site in their simulations. Finally, our calculations for different phosphate diester orientations and phosphorothioate diesters highlight that the interpretation of thio-substitution experiments is not always straightforward.
PMCID: PMC3257412  PMID: 22097879
9.  High-resolution analysis of Zn2+ coordination in the alkaline phosphatase superfamily by EXAFS and x-ray crystallography 
Journal of molecular biology  2011;415(1):102-117.
Comparisons among evolutionarily related enzymes offer opportunities to reveal how structural differences produce different catalytic activities. Two structurally-related enzymes, E. coli alkaline phosphatase (AP) and X. axonopodis nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) have nearly identical binuclear Zn2+ catalytic centers, but show tremendous differential specificity for hydrolysis of phosphate monoesters or phosphate diesters. To determine if there are differences in Zn2+ coordination in the two enzymes that might contribute to catalytic specificity, we analyzed both x-ray absorption spectroscopic and x-ray crystallographic data. We report a 1.29 Å crystal structure of alkaline phosphatase with bound phosphate, allowing evaluation of interactions at the AP metal site with high resolution. To make systematic comparisons between AP and NPP, we measured zinc extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) for AP and NPP in the free enzyme forms, with AMP and inorganic phosphate ground-state analogs, and with vanadate transition state analogs. These studies yielded average zinc-ligand distances in AP and NPP free-enzyme forms and ground-state analog forms that were identical within error, suggesting little difference in metal ion coordination among these forms. Upon binding of vanadate to both enzymes, small increases in average metal-ligand distances were observed, consistent with an increased coordination number. Slightly longer increases were observed in NPP relative to AP, which could arise from subtle rearrangements of the active site or differences in the geometry of the bound vanadyl species. Overall, the results suggest that the binuclear Zn2+ catalytic site remains very similar between AP and NPP during the course of a reaction cycle.
PMCID: PMC3249517  PMID: 22056344
x-ray absorption spectroscopy; crystal structure; nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase; catalytic promiscuity; phosphoryl transfer
10.  Site-Directed Mutagenesis Maps Interactions That Enhance Cognate and Limit Promiscuous Catalysis by an Alkaline Phosphatase Superfamily Phosphodiesterase 
Biochemistry  2013;52(51):9167-9176.
Catalytic promiscuity, an evolutionary concept, also provides a powerful tool for gaining mechanistic insights into enzymatic reactions. Members of the alkaline phosphatase (AP) superfamily are highly amenable to such investigation, with several members having been shown to exhibit promiscuous activity for the cognate reactions of other superfamily members. Previous work has shown that nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) exhibits a >106-fold preference for the hydrolysis of phosphate diesters over phosphate monoesters, and that the reaction specificity is reduced 103-fold when the size of the substituent on the transferred phosphoryl group of phosphate diester substrates is reduced to a methyl group. Here we show additional specificity contributions from the binding pocket for this substituent (herein termed the R′ substituent) that account for an additional ~250-fold differential specificity with the minimal methyl substituent. Removal of four hydrophobic side chains suggested on the basis of structural inspection to interact favorably with R′ substituents decreases phosphate diester reactivity 104-fold with an optimal diester substrate (R′ = 5′-deoxythymidine) and 50-fold with a minimal diester substrate (R′ = CH3). These mutations also enhance the enzyme’s promiscuous phosphate monoesterase activity by nearly an order of magnitude, an effect that is traced by mutation to the reduction of unfavorable interactions with the two residues closest to the nonbridging phosphoryl oxygen atoms. The quadruple R′ pocket mutant exhibits the same activity toward phosphate diester and phosphate monoester substrates that have identical leaving groups, with substantial rate enhancements of ~1011-fold. This observation suggests that the Zn2+ bimetallo core of AP superfamily enzymes, which is equipotent in phosphate monoester and diester catalysis, has the potential to become specialized for the hydrolysis of each class of phosphate esters via addition of side chains that interact with the substrate atoms and substituents that project away from the Zn2+ bimetallo core.
PMCID: PMC4415882  PMID: 24261692
11.  Pho5p and Newly Identified Nucleotide Pyrophosphatases/ Phosphodiesterases Regulate Extracellular Nucleotide Phosphate Metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Eukaryotic Cell  2005;4(11):1892-1901.
Extracellular nucleotides play many biological roles, including intercellular communication and modulation of nucleotide receptor signaling, and are dependent on the phosphorylation state of the nucleotide. Regulation of nucleotide phosphorylation is necessary, and a specialized class of enzymes, nucleotide pyrophosphatases/phosphodiesterases (E-NPPs), has been identified in mammals to perform this function. Although the E-NPP class is conserved among complex eukaryotes, this system has not yet been identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using genetic and biochemical experiments, we show that two orthologs of the E-NPP family, referred to as Npp1p and Npp2p, exist in budding yeast and can perform nucleotide phosphate hydrolysis. This activity is enhanced during phosphate starvation, where hydrolyzed phosphates can be imported from extracellular sources and utilized to overcome phosphate starvation through the activity of the Pho5p acid phosphatase. The added compensatory effect by Pho5p is also a newly established role for Pho5p. This study demonstrates that extracellular nucleotide phosphate metabolism appears to be controlled by at least two independent regulatory mechanisms, uniting phosphate starvation with extracellular nucleotide regulation.
PMCID: PMC1287867  PMID: 16278456
12.  Tegumental Phosphodiesterase SmNPP-5 Is a Virulence Factor for Schistosomes ▿ 
Infection and Immunity  2011;79(10):4276-4284.
The intravascular trematode Schistosoma mansoni is a causative agent of schistosomiasis, a disease that constitutes a major health problem globally. In this study we cloned and characterized the schistosome tegumental phosphodiesterase SmNPP-5 and evaluated its role in parasite virulence. SmNPP-5 is a 52.5-kDa protein whose gene is rapidly turned on in the intravascular parasitic life stages, following invasion of the definitive host. Highest expression is found in mated adult males. As revealed by immunofluorescence analysis, SmNPP-5 protein is found prominently in the dorsal surface of the tegument of males. Localization by immuno-electron microscopy illustrates a unique pattern of immunogold-labeled SmNPP-5 within the tegument; some immunogold particles are scattered throughout the tissue, but many are clustered in tight arrays. To determine the importance of the protein for the parasites, RNA interference (RNAi) was employed to knock down expression of the SmNPP-5-encoding gene in schistosomula and adult worms. Both quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting confirmed successful and robust gene suppression. In addition, the suppression and the ectolocalization of this enzyme in live parasites were evident because of a significantly impaired ability of the suppressed parasites to hydrolyze exogenously added phosphodiesterase substrate p-nitrophenyl 5′-dTMP (p-Nph-5′-TMP). The effects of suppressing expression of the SmNPP-5 gene in vivo were tested by injecting parasites into mice. It was found that, unlike controls, parasites whose SmNPP-5 gene was demonstrably suppressed at the time of host infection were greatly impaired in their ability to establish infection. These results demonstrate that SmNPP-5 is a virulence factor for schistosomes.
PMCID: PMC3187234  PMID: 21825060
13.  Characterization of a Di-leucine–based Signal in the Cytoplasmic Tail of the Nucleotide-pyrophosphatase NPP1 That Mediates Basolateral Targeting but not Endocytosis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(10):3004-3015.
Enzymes of the nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPPase) family are expressed at opposite surfaces in polarized epithelial cells. We investigated the targeting signal of NPP1, which is exclusively expressed at the basolateral surface. Full-length NPP1 and different constructs and mutants were transfected into the polarized MDCK cell line. Expression of the proteins was analyzed by confocal microscopy and surface biotinylation. The basolateral signal of NPP1 was identified as a di-leucine motif located in the cytoplasmic tail. Mutation of either or both leucines largely redirected NPP1 to the apical surface. Furthermore, addition of the conserved sequence AAASLLAP redirected the apical nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase NPP3 to the basolateral surface. Full-length NPP1 was not significantly internalized. However, when the cytoplasmic tail was deleted upstream the di-leucine motif or when the six upstream flanking amino acids were deleted, the protein was mainly found intracellularly. Endocytosis experiments indicated that these mutants were endocytosed from the basolateral surface. These results identify the basolateral signal of NPP1 as a short sequence including a di-leucine motif that is dominant over apical determinants and point to the importance of surrounding amino acids in determining whether the signal will function as a basolateral signal only or as an endocytotic signal as well.
PMCID: PMC60151  PMID: 11598187
14.  Ectonucleotidases in the kidney 
Purinergic Signalling  2009;5(4):501-511.
Members of all four families of ectonucleotidases, namely ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (NTPDases), ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterases (NPPs), ecto-5′-nucleotidase and alkaline phosphatases, have been identified in the renal vasculature and/or tubular structures. In rats and mice, NTPDase1, which hydrolyses ATP through to AMP, is prominent throughout most of the renal vasculature and is also present in the thin ascending limb of Henle and medullary collecting duct. NTPDase2 and NTPDase3, which both prefer ATP over ADP as a substrate, are found in most nephron segments beyond the proximal tubule. NPPs catalyse not only the hydrolysis of ATP and ADP, but also of diadenosine polyphosphates. NPP1 has been identified in proximal and distal tubules of the mouse, while NPP3 is expressed in the rat glomerulus and pars recta, but not in more distal segments. Ecto-5′-nucleotidase, which catalyses the conversion of AMP to adenosine, is found in apical membranes of rat proximal convoluted tubule and intercalated cells of the distal nephron, as well as in the peritubular space. Finally, an alkaline phosphatase, which can theoretically catalyse the entire hydrolysis chain from nucleoside triphosphate to nucleoside, has been identified in apical membranes of rat proximal tubules; however, this enzyme exhibits relatively high Km values for adenine nucleotides. Although information on renal ectonucleotidases is still incomplete, the enzymes’ varied distribution in the vasculature and along the nephron suggests that they can profoundly influence purinoceptor activity through the hydrolysis, and generation, of agonists of the various purinoceptor subtypes. This review provides an update on renal ectonucleotidases and speculates on the functional significance of these enzymes in terms of glomerular and tubular physiology and pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC2776140  PMID: 19333785
Renal tubule; Ectonucleotidases; Ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases; Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterases; Ecto-5′-nucleotidase; Alkaline phosphatases
15.  Autotaxin (ATX): a multi-functional and multi-modular protein possessing enzymatic lysoPLD activity and matricellular properties 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2008;1781(9):525-530.
Recent studies have established that autotaxin (ATX), also known as phosphodiesterase Iα/autotaxin (PD-Iα/ATX) or (ecto)nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 [(E)NPP2], represents a multi-functional and multi-modular protein. ATX was initially thought to function exclusively as a phosphodiesterase/pyrophosphatase. However, it has become apparent that this enzymatically active site, which is ultimately responsible for ATX’s originally discovered property of tumor cell motility stimulation, mediates the conversion of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). In addition, a separate functionally active domain, here referred to as the Modulator of Oligodendrocyte Remodeling and Focal adhesion Organization (MORFO) domain, was discovered in studies analyzing the role of ATX during the differentiation of myelinating cells of the central nervous system (CNS), namely oligodendrocytes. This novel domain was found to mediate anti-adhesive, i.e. matricellular, properties and to promote morphological maturation of oligodendrocytes. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of ATX’s structure-function domains and discuss their contribution to the presently known main functional roles of ATX.
PMCID: PMC2564869  PMID: 18485925
autotaxin; lysoPLD; phosphodiesterase-Iα; matricellular; tumor progression; vascular development; oligodendrocyte development
16.  Anticancer activity of FTY720: phosphorylated FTY720 inhibits autotaxin, a metastasis-enhancing and angiogenic lysophospholipase D 
Cancer letters  2008;266(2):203-208.
FTY720 is an immunomodulator that is phosphorylated in vivo and inhibits lymphocyte mobilization by targeting sphingosine 1-phospate receptors. At doses higher than required for immunomodulation, FTY720 inhibits tumor progression through an unknown mechanism. Here we show that FTY720-phosphate is a competitive inhibitor (Ki ~0.2 µM) of autotaxin (ATX or NPP2), a nucleotide phosphodiesterase/pyrophosphatase (NPP) that enhances metastasis and angiogenesis and acts as a lysophospholipase D to produce the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). FTY720-phosphate did no affect the activity of NPP1, the closest relative of ATX. After oral administration in mice, FTY720 (3 mg/kg) significantly reduced plasma LPA levels. These results suggest that FTY720 may exert its anticancer effects, at least in part, by targeting the ATX-LPA axis.
PMCID: PMC2943588  PMID: 18378389
FTY720; autotaxin; lysophosphatidic acid; tumor progression
17.  Modulation of purinergic signaling by NPP-type ectophosphodiesterases 
Purinergic Signalling  2006;2(2):361-370.
Extracellular nucleotides can elicit a wide array of cellular responses by binding to specific purinergic receptors. The level of ectonucleotides is dynamically controlled by their release from cells, synthesis by ectonucleoside diphosphokinases and ectoadenylate kinases, and hydrolysis by ectonucleotidases. One of the four structurally unrelated families of ectonucleotidases is represented by the NPP-type ectophosphodiesterases. Three of the seven members of the NPP family, namely NPP1–3, are known to hydrolyze nucleotides. The enzymatic action of NPP1–3 (in)directly results in the termination of nucleotide signaling, the salvage of nucleotides and/or the generation of new messengers like ADP, adenosine or pyrophosphate. NPP2 is unique in that it hydrolyzes both nucleotides and lysophospholipids and, thereby, generates products that could synergistically promote cell motility. We review here the enzymatic properties of NPPs and analyze current evidence that links their nucleotide-hydrolyzing capability to epithelial and neural functions, the immune response and cell motility.
PMCID: PMC2254485  PMID: 18404476
alkaline sphingomyelinase; ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase; ectophosphodiesterase; ENPP; lysophospholipase D; NPP; NPP-type ectophosphodiesterase
18.  Effects of pH on the Production of Phosphate and Pyrophosphate by Matrix Vesicles' Biomimetics 
Calcified tissue international  2013;93(3):222-232.
During endochondral bone formation, chondrocytes and osteoblasts synthesize and mineralize the extracellular matrix through a process that initiates within matrix vesicles (MVs) and ends with bone mineral propagation onto the collagenous scaffold. pH gradients have been identified in the growth plate of long bones, but how pH changes affect the initiation of skeletal mineralization is not known. Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) degrades extracellular inorganic pyrophosphate (ePPi), a mineralization inhibitor produced by ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/ phosphodiesterase-1 (NPP1), while contributing Pi from ATP to initiate mineralization. TNAP and NPP1, alone or combined, were reconstituted in dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) liposomes to mimic the microenvironment of MVs. The hydrolysis of ATP, ADP, AMP and PPi was studied at pH 8 and 9 and compared to the data determined at pH 7.4. While catalytic efficiencies in general were higher at alkaline pH, PPi hydrolysis was maximal at pH 8 and indicated a preferential utilization of PPi over ATP, at pH 8 versus 9. In addition, all proteoliposomes induced mineral formation when incubated in a synthetic cartilage lymph (SCL) containing 1 mM ATP as substrate and amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) or calciumphosphate- phosphatidylserine complexes (PS-CPLX) as nucleators. Propagation of mineralization was significantly more efficient at pHs 7.5 and 8 than at pH 9. Since a slight pH elevation from 7.4 to 8 promotes considerably more hydrolysis of ATP, ADP and AMP primarily by TNAP, this small pH change facilitates mineralization, especially via upregulated PPi hydrolysis by both NPP1 and TNAP, further elevating the Pi/PPi ratio, thus enhancing bone mineralization.
PMCID: PMC3752608  PMID: 23942722
biomineralization; alkaline pH; microenvironment; proteoliposomes; pyrophosphate; ATP
19.  Mineralisation of collagen rich soft tissues and osteocyte lacunae in Enpp1−/− mice 
Bone  2014;69:139-147.
Ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterases (NPPs) hydrolyse nucleotide triphosphates to the corresponding nucleotide monophosphates and the mineralisation inhibitor, pyrophosphate (PPi). This study examined the role of NPP1 in osteocytes, osteoclasts and cortical bone, using a mouse model lacking NPP1 (Enpp1−/−). We used microcomputed tomography (μCT) to investigate how NPP1 deletion affects cortical bone structure; excised humerus bones from 8, 15 and 22-week old mice were scanned at 0.9 μm. Although no changes were evident in the cortical bone of 8-week old Enpp1−/− mice, significant differences were observed in older animals. Cortical bone volume was decreased 28% in 22-week Enpp1−/− mice, whilst cortical porosity was reduced 30% and 60% at 15 and 22-weeks, respectively. This was accompanied by up to a 15% decrease in closed pore diameter and a 55% reduction in the number of pores. Cortical thickness was reduced up to 35% in 15 and 22-week Enpp1−/− animals and the endosteal diameter was increased up to 23%. Thus, the cortical bone from Enpp1−/− mice was thinner and less porous, with a larger marrow space. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a decrease in the size and number of blood vessel channels in the cortical bone as well as a 40% reduction in the mean plan area of osteocyte lacunae. We noted that the number of viable osteocytes isolated from the long bones of Enpp1−/− mice was decreased ≤ 50%. In contrast, osteoclast formation and resorptive activity were unaffected by NPP1 deletion. μCT and histological analysis of Enpp1−/− mice also revealed calcification of the joints and vertebrae as well as soft tissues including the whisker follicles, ear pinna and trachea. This calcification worsened as the animals aged. Together, these data highlight the key role of NPP1 in regulating calcification of both soft and skeletal tissues.
•We examine the role of NPP1 in osteocytes, osteoclasts and cortical bone.•Osteocyte lacunae are reduced in size and number in NPP1 knockout mice.•Sclerostin levels are increased in NPP1 knockout mice.•Osteoclast formation and resorptive activity are unaffected by NPP1 deletion.•Mice lacking NPP1 display widespread calcification of collagen rich soft tissues.
PMCID: PMC4228085  PMID: 25260930
NPP1; Osteocytes; Osteoclasts; Soft tissue mineralisation; Pyrophosphate
20.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of human autotaxin 
The α isoform of human autotaxin has been crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 3.0 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.
Autotaxin (ATX), which is also known as ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 (NPP2 or ENPP2) or phosphodiesterase Iα (PD-Iα), is an extracellular lysophospholipase D which generates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) from lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). ATX stimulates tumour-cell migration, angiogenesis and metastasis and is an attractive target for cancer therapy. For crystallographic studies, the α isoform of human ATX was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 3.0 Å resolution from a monoclinic crystal form belonging to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 311.4, b = 147.9, c = 176.9 Å, β = 122.6°.
PMCID: PMC3080147  PMID: 21505238
autotaxin; lysophosphatidic acid; lysophospholipase D; ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2
21.  Autotaxin Structure Activity Relationships Revealed through Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogs 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2009;17(9):3433-3442.
Autotaxin (ATX) catalyzes the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to form the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA stimulates cell proliferation, cell survival, and cell migration and is involved in obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, atherosclerosis and various cancers, suggesting that ATX inhibitors have broad therapeutic potential. Product feedback inhibition of ATX by LPA has stimulated structure activity studies focused on LPA analogs. However, LPA displays mixed mode inhibition, indicating it can bind to both the enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complex. This suggests that LPA may not interact solely with the catalytic site. In this report we have prepared LPC analogs to help map out substrate structure activity relationships. The structural variances include length and unsaturation of the fatty tail, choline and polar linker presence, acyl versus ether linkage of the hydrocarbon chain, and methylene and nitrogen replacement of the choline oxygen. All LPC analogs were assayed in competition with the synthetic substrate, FS-3, to show the preference ATX has for each alteration. Choline presence and methylene replacement of the choline oxygen were detrimental to ATX recognition. These findings provide insights into the structure of the enzyme in the vicinity of the catalytic site as well as suggesting that ATX produces rate enhancement, at least in part, by substrate destabilization.
PMCID: PMC2705928  PMID: 19345587
22.  Specificity of the ecto-ATPase inhibitor ARL 67156 on human and mouse ectonucleotidases 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2007;152(1):141-150.
Background and purpose:
ARL 67156, 6-N,N-Diethyl-D-β-γ-dibromomethylene adenosine triphosphate, originally named FPL 67156, is the only commercially available inhibitor of ecto-ATPases. Since the first report on this molecule, various ectonucleotidases responsible for the hydrolysis of ATP at the cell surface have been cloned and characterized. In this work, we identified the ectonucleotidases inhibited by ARL 67156.
Experimental approach:
The effect of ARL 67156 on recombinant NTPDase1, 2, 3 & 8 (mouse and human), NPP1, NPP3 and ecto-5′-nucleotidase (human) have been evaluated. The inhibition of the activity of NTPDases (using the following substrates: ATP, ADP, UTP), NPPs (pnp-TMP, Ap3A) and ecto-5′-nucleotidase (AMP) was measured by colorimetric or HPLC assays.
Key results:
ARL 67156 was a weak competitive inhibitor of human NTPDase1, NTPDase3 and NPP1 with Ki of 11±3, 18±4 and 12±3 μM, respectively. At concentrations used in the literature (50–100 μM), ARL 67156 partially but significantly inhibited the mouse and human forms of these enzymes. NTPDase2, NTPDase8, NPP3 and ecto-5′-nucleotidase activities were less affected. Importantly, ARL 67156 was not hydrolysed by either human NTPDase1, 2, 3, 8, NPP1 or NPP3.
Conclusions and implications:
In cell environments where NTPDase1, NTPDase3, NPP1 or mouse NTPDase8 are present, ARL 67156 would prolong the effect of endogenously released ATP on P2 receptors. However, it does not block any ectonucleotidases efficiently when high concentrations of substrates are present, such as in biochemical, pharmacological or P2X7 assays. In addition, ARL 67156 is not an effective inhibitor of NTPDase2, human NTPDase8, NPP3 and ecto-5′-nucleotidase.
PMCID: PMC1978278  PMID: 17603550
ecto-ATPase; NTPDase; CD39; NPP; Ecto-5′-nucleotidase; extracellular nucleotide; ARL 67156; FPL 67156
23.  Methylene ATP analogs as modulators of extracellular ATP metabolism and accumulation 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2004;142(6):1002-1014.
Transient accumulation of extracellular ATP reflects both release of ATP from intracellular stores and altered rates of ATP metabolism by ecto-enzymes. Ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (eNTPDases) and ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatases (eNPPs) degrade ATP, while ecto-nucleotide diphosphokinases (eNDPKs) synthesize ATP from ambient ADP.Although the methylene ATP analogs βγ-meATP and αβ-meATP are widely used as metabolically stable tools for the analysis of purinergic signaling, their specific effects on eNTPDase, eNPP, and eNDPK activities have not been defined. This study compared the actions of these analogs on extracellular ATP metabolism by human 1321N1 astrocytes, rat PC12 pheochomocytoma cells, and rat C6 glioma cells.Both analogs significantly reduced clearance of extracellular ATP by 1321N1 cells that express both eNTPDases and eNPPs, as well as by C6 cells that exclusively express eNPPs. In contrast, both analogs were much less efficacious in inhibiting ATP clearance by PC12 cells that predominantly express eNTPDases. βγ-meATP, but not αβ-meATP, was effectively hydrolyzed by the 1321N1 and C6 cells; PC12 cells did not significantly degrade this analog.αβ-meATP, but not βγ-meATP, acted as a substrate for purified yeast NDPK to generate ATP via trans-phosphorylation of ADP. αβ-meATP also acted as substrate for the eNDPK activities expressed by 1321N1, PC12, and C6 cells and thereby induced extracellular ATP accumulation in the presence of ambient or exogenously added ADP.These results indicate that methylene ATP analogs exert complex and cell-specific effects on extracellular ATP metabolism that can significantly modify interpretation of studies that use these reagents as probes of purinergic signal transduction in intact tissues.
PMCID: PMC1575113  PMID: 15210578
Extracellular ATP; ecto-ATPase; ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase; ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase; β,γ-methylene ATP; α,β-methylene ATP; nucleotide diphosphokinase; astrocyte; pheochromocytoma; glioma
24.  Identification and Characterization of a Novel Phosphodiesterase from the Metagenome of an Indian Coalbed 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0118075.
Phosphoesterases are involved in the degradation of organophosphorus compounds. Although phosphomonoesterases and phosphotriesterases have been studied in detail, studies on phosphodiesterases are rather limited. In our search to find novel phosphodiesterases using metagenomic approach, we cloned a gene encoding a putative phosphodiesterase (PdeM) from the metagenome of the formation water collected from an Indian coal bed. Bioinformatic analysis showed that PdeM sequence possessed the characteristic signature motifs of the class III phosphodiesterases and phylogenetic study of PdeM enabled us to identify three distinct subclasses (A, B, and C) within class III phosphodiesterases, PdeM clustering in new subclass IIIB. Bioinformatic, biochemical and biophysical characterization of PdeM further revealed some of the characteristic features of the phosphodiesterases belonging to newly described subclass IIIB. PdeM is a monomer of 29.3 kDa, which exhibits optimum activity at 25°C and pH 8.5, but low affinity for bis(pNPP) as well as pNPPP. The recombinant PdeM possessed phosphodiesterase, phosphonate-ester hydrolase and nuclease activity. It lacked phosphomonoesterase, phosphotriesterase, and RNAse activities. Overexpression of PdeM in E.coli neither affected catabolite respression nor did the recombinant protein hydrolyzed cAMP in vitro, indicating its inability to hydrolyze cAMP. Although Mn2+ was required for the activity of PdeM, but addition of metals (Mn2+ or Fe3+) did not induce oligomerization. Further increase in concentration of Mn2+ upto 3 mM, increased α-helical content as well as the phosphodiesterase activity. Structural comparison of PdeM with its homologs showed that it lacked critical residues required for dimerization, cAMP hydrolysis, and for the high affinity binding of bis(pNPP). PdeM, thus, is a novel representative of new subclass of class III phosphodiesterases.
PMCID: PMC4320098  PMID: 25658120
25.  The N-Terminal Propeptide of Vibrio vulnificus Extracellular Metalloprotease Is both an Inhibitor of and a Substrate for the Enzyme▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(19):6832-6838.
Vibrio vulnificus, a marine bacterium capable of causing wound infection and septicemia, secretes a 45-kDa metalloprotease (vEP) with many biological activities. The precursor of vEP consists of four regions: a signal peptide, an N-terminal propeptide (nPP), a C-terminal propeptide, and the mature protease. Two forms of vEP—vEP-45, which contains the mature protease plus the C-terminal propeptide, and vEP-34, which contains only the mature protease—were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. vEP-45 and vEP-34 had similar activities with azocasein as a substrate, but vEP-34 had reduced activity toward insoluble proteins. The nPP of vEP was expressed as a His tag fusion protein, and its effect on vEP activity was investigated. nPP inhibited the activities of both vEP-45 and vEP-34 but not that of thermolysin, a different but related zinc-dependent protease. The inhibition of vEP by nPP was further examined using vEP-34 as a representative enzyme. The inhibition could be completely reversed under conditions of low enzyme and propeptide concentrations and with prolonged incubation, which resulted from the degradation of nPP by vEP. However, even at high nPP and vEP concentrations, inhibition of vEP by nPP at high temperatures was not effective, resulting in the degradation of both nPP and vEP. These results demonstrate that the nPP of vEP could bind to vEP and inhibit its activity, resulting in the degradation of the propeptide.
PMCID: PMC2045228  PMID: 17644589

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