Enzymatic synthesis and characterizations of cyclic GDP-ribose. A procedure for distinguishing enzymes with ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity

R. M. Graeff, T. F. Walseth, K. Fryxell, W. D. Branton, Cheung Lee Hon Cheung Lee

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238 Scopus citations


Cyclic nucleotides such as cAMP and cGMP are second messengers subserving various signaling pathways. Cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), a recently discovered member of the family, is derived from NAD+ and is a mediator of Ca2+ mobilization in various cellular systems. The synthesis and degradation of cADPR are, respectively, catalyzed by ADP-ribosyI cyclase and cADPR hydrolase. CD38, a differentiation antigen of B lymphocytes, has recently been shown to be a bifunctional enzyme catalyzing both the formation and hydrolysis of cADPR. The overall reaction catalyzed by CD38 is the formation of ADP-ribose and nicotinamide from NAD+, identical to that catalyzed by NADase. The difficulties in detecting the formation of cADPR have led to frequent identification of CD38 as a classical NADase. In this study, we show that both ADP-ribosyl cyclase and CD38, but not NADase, can cyclize nicotinamide guanine dinucleotide (NGD+) producing a new nucleotide. Analyses by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy indicate the product is cyclic GDP-ribose (cGDPR) with a structure similar to cADPR except with guanine replacing adenine. Compared to cADPR, cGDPR is a more stable compound showing 2.8 times more resistance to heat-induced hydrolysis. These results are consistent with a catalytic scheme for CD38 where the cyclization of the substrate precedes the hydrolytic reaction. Spectroscopic analyses show that cGDPR is fluorescent and has an absorption spectrum different from both NGD+ and GDPR, providing a very convenient way for monitoring its enzymatic formation. The use of NGD+ as substrate for assaying the cyclization reaction was found to be applicable to pure enzymes as well as crude tissue extracts making it a useful diagnostic tool for distinguishing CD38-like enzymes from degradative NADases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30260-30267
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number48
StatePublished - 1994


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