Distinct substrate specificity and physicochemical characterization of native human hepatic thymidine phosphorylase

Academic Article


  • Thymidine phosphorylase (TP; EC is involved regulation of intra- or extracellular thymidine concentration, angiogenesis, cancer chemotherapy, radiotherapy, as well as tumor imaging. Although the liver is main site of pyrimidine metabolism and contains high levels of TP, nonetheless, purification and characterization of human hepatic TP has not been accomplished. We here report the purification and characterization of native human hepatic TP. The enzyme was purified to apparent homogeneity by a procedure shorter and more efficient than previously reported methods. Human hepatic TP has an apparent Kthymi-dine of 285 ± 55 μM. Like the enzyme from other tissues, it is highly specific to 2’-deoxyribo-sides. However, in contrast to TP from other normal tissues, the hepatic enzyme is active in the phosphorolysis of 5’-deoxy-5-fluorouridine, and the riboside 5-fluorouridine. Furthermore, native hepatic TP exists in different aggregates of 50 kDa subunits, with unknown aggregation factor(s) while TP from extra tissues exists as a homodimer. Isoelectric point was determined as 4.3. A total of 65 residues in the N-terminal were sequenced. The sequence of these 65 amino acids in hepatic TP has 100% sequence and location homology to the deduced amino acid sequence of the platelet derived-endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF) cDNA. However, and contrary to PD-ECGF, the N-terminal of hepatic TP is blocked. The block was neither N-formyl nor pyrrolidone carboxylic acid moieties. The differences in substrate specificities, existence in multimers, and weak interaction with hydroxyapatite resin strongly suggest that hepatic TP is distinct from the enzyme in normal extrahepatic tissues. These results may have important clinical implications when TP is involved in activation or deactivation of chemotherapeutic agents in different tissues.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Oh T; El Kouni MH
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 8