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Interactions between the transmembrane domains of CD39: identification of interacting residues by yeast selection

 1,  1,*

ScienceOpen Research – Section: SOR-LIFE


Life sciences, CD39, Transmembrane domains, Helical wheel, Hydrophobic moment, Packing moment

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      Rat CD39, a membrane-bound ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase that hydrolyzes extracellular nucleoside tri- and diphosphates, is anchored to the membrane by two transmembrane domains at the two ends of the molecule. The transmembrane domains are important for enzymatic activity, as mutants lacking one or both of these domains have a fraction of the enzymatic activity of the wild-type CD39. We investigated the interactions between the transmembrane domains by using a strain of yeast that requires surface expression of CD39 for growth. Random mutagenesis of selected amino acid residues in the N-terminal transmembrane domain revealed that the presence of charged amino acids at these positions prevents expression of functional protein. Rescue of the growth of these mutants by complementary mutations on selected residues of the C-terminal transmembrane domain indicates that there is contact between particular faces of the transmembrane domains.

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      Most cited references 53

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        The E-NTPDase family of ectonucleotidases: Structure function relationships and pathophysiological significance

        Ectonucleotidases are ectoenzymes that hydrolyze extracellular nucleotides to the respective nucleosides. Within the past decade, ectonucleotidases belonging to several enzyme families have been discovered, cloned and characterized. In this article, we specifically address the cell surface-located members of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase/CD39) family (NTPDase1,2,3, and 8). The molecular identification of individual NTPDase subtypes, genetic engineering, mutational analyses, and the generation of subtype-specific antibodies have resulted in considerable insights into enzyme structure and function. These advances also allow definition of physiological and patho-physiological implications of NTPDases in a considerable variety of tissues. Biological actions of NTPDases are a consequence (at least in part) of the regulated phosphohydrolytic activity on extracellular nucleotides and consequent effects on P2-receptor signaling. It further appears that the spatial and temporal expression of NTPDases by various cell types within the vasculature, the nervous tissues and other tissues impacts on several patho-physiological processes. Examples include acute effects on cellular metabolism, adhesion, activation and migration with other protracted impacts upon developmental responses, inclusive of cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis, as seen with atherosclerosis, degenerative neurological diseases and immune rejection of transplanted organs and cells. Future clinical applications are expected to involve the development of new therapeutic strategies for transplantation and various inflammatory cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neurological diseases.
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          Cellular function and molecular structure of ecto-nucleotidases.

          Ecto-nucleotidases play a pivotal role in purinergic signal transmission. They hydrolyze extracellular nucleotides and thus can control their availability at purinergic P2 receptors. They generate extracellular nucleosides for cellular reuptake and salvage via nucleoside transporters of the plasma membrane. The extracellular adenosine formed acts as an agonist of purinergic P1 receptors. They also can produce and hydrolyze extracellular inorganic pyrophosphate that is of major relevance in the control of bone mineralization. This review discusses and compares four major groups of ecto-nucleotidases: the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases, ecto-5'-nucleotidase, ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterases, and alkaline phosphatases. Only recently and based on crystal structures, detailed information regarding the spatial structures and catalytic mechanisms has become available for members of these four ecto-nucleotidase families. This permits detailed predictions of their catalytic mechanisms and a comparison between the individual enzyme groups. The review focuses on the principal biochemical, cell biological, catalytic, and structural properties of the enzymes and provides brief reference to tissue distribution, and physiological and pathophysiological functions.

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            Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
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            ScienceOpen Research
            13 October 2014
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            © 2014 S. Paavilainen and G. Guidotti.

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at

            Figures: 6, Tables: 4, References: 47, Pages: 12
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