ADPase (adenosine diphosphatase) was assayed in rat liver homogenates with [beta-32P]ADP as substrate. The activity had a pH optimum of 8.0 and was strongly activated by Mg2+. The intracellular localization was determined by analytical subcellular fractionation with single-step sucrose-density-gradient centrifugation. Selective membrane perturbants were used to enhance the resolution of the various organelles. ADPase was localized to the mitochondria. Mitochondria were isolated by differential centrifugation and subfractionated by selective disruption of the inner and outer membranes. The intramitochondrial localization of ADPase was compared with various marker enzymes and was shown to be concentrated in the outer-membrane fractions. The effects of various inhibitors on the ADPase activity were determined and the possibility that the activity could be due to known enzyme systems was considered. It is concluded that ADP degradation is due to a hitherto unrecognized mitochondrial enzyme.

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