EctoATPases are extracellular membrane-bound enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of the γ phosphate from ATP. EctoATPase is expressed by activated and immortalized Epstein-Barr virus-transformed human peripheral blood B lymphocytes and murine B cell hybridomas. By contrast, ectoATPase activity is not expressed on nontransformed human peripheral blood B lymphocytes, murine spleen cells, or murine myeloma cells. The K(m) for ATP for the B cell ectoATPases ranged from 5 to 77 μM; the V(max) ranged from 48 to 129 pmol/min/104 cells. The enzyme required Mg2+ for maximal activity with little dependence on Ca2+. ADP and purine and pyrimidine nucleoside triphosphates were competitive inhibitors of the catalytic reaction. A putative ectoATPase protein has been identified by Western blot analysis of membrane proteins from the immortalized B cells. Under reducing conditions, anti-ectoATPase antibodies cross-reacted with a 66-kDa protein from murine B cell hybridoma membranes. By contrast a 200-kDa protein from the B cell hybridoma membranes cross-reacted with the antibodies under nonreducing conditions, suggesting a disulfide-linked trimer. The antibodies also cross- reacted with a 66-kDa protein from human B cell membranes under reducing conditions, but did not cross-react with membrane proteins under nonreducing conditions. This suggests that the antibody epitope(s) recognized on the reduced human protein is masked under nonreducing conditions. Thus, this work demonstrates: (1) that ectoATPase may serve as a marker for B cell activation; and (2) mammalian and avian ectoATPases have conserved interspecies immunological epitopes and kinetic properties.