Author(s): Goding JW
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Abstract Ecto-enzymes are catalytic membrane proteins with their active sites outside the cell. They include cholinesterase, which inactivates acetylcholine, and angiotensin-converting enzyme, which converts angiotensin I to biologically active angiotensin II, and numerous other peptidases, transpeptidases, nucleotidases, phosphodiesterases, and phosphatases. Many CD antigens of leukocytes are ecto-enzymes; some CD antigens for which no function is currently known are probably ecto-enzymes. Expression is highly regulated and correlated with differentiation and activation. Some are highly restricted in distribution; others are ubiquitous. Many are shared between leukocytes and non-hematogenous cells. Biological functions appear to depend on the type and location of the cell in which expression occurs, and include recycling of nutrients, local control of response to cytokines and hormones, bone formation, cell mobility, invasion, and metastasis. Many novel regulatory functions of ecto-enzymes remain to be discovered, and may reveal new mechanisms of local extracellular control of cellular function.
This article was published in J Leukoc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology