The sea urchin egg has been used as a system to study calcium-release mechanisms induced by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), cADP-ribose (cADPR), and more recently, nicotinic acid–adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). In order that cADPR and NAADP may be established as endogenous messengers for calcium release, the existence of intracellular enzymes capable of metabolizing these molecules must be demonstrated. In addition, intracellular levels of cADPR and NAADP should be under the control of extracellular stimuli. It has been shown that cGMP stimulates the synthesis of cADPR in the sea urchin egg. The present study shows that the sea urchin egg is capable of synthesizing and degrading NAADP. cADPR and NAADP synthetic activities appear to be separate, with different cellular localizations, pH and temperature optima. We suggest that in the sea urchin egg, cADPR and NAADP production may be differentially regulated by receptor-coupled second messengers, with cADPR production being regulated by cGMP and NAADP production modulated by cAMP.

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