The tick Boophilus microplus contains a nucleoside phosphate-hydrolysing enzyme which, in many respects, resembles the well characterized 5'-nucleotidase from mammalian tissue. The tick enzyme has been purified to homogeneity. It is a membrane-bound glycoprotein with an apparent Mr of 67,000 and, although it fails to hydrolyse a range of nucleoside 2'- or 3'-monophosphates, it has broad specificity for the 5' derivatives. Further investigation of the enzyme's substrate specificity, however, shows some important differences from the mammalian nucleotidases. It hydrolyses both bis-p-nitrophenyl phosphate and p-nitrophenyl phenylphosphonate, typical substrates for phosphodiesterases. However, the tick enzyme is most strikingly different from the mammalian enzymes in that it hydrolyses not only AMP but ADP and ATP as well. Further, the products of the hydrolysis of ATP are adenosine and tripolyphosphate, a reaction which has not been reported previously. The products of ADP hydrolysis are adenosine and pyrophosphate.

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