Background: The CD38 transmembrane glycoprotein is an ADP-ribosyl cyclase that moonlights as a receptor in cells of the immune system. Both functions are independently implicated in numerous areas related to human health. This study originated from an inherent interest in studying CD38 in the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis), a species closely related to humans that also represents a cogent animal model for the biomedical analysis of CD38. Results: A cDNA was isolated from cynomolgus macaque peripheral blood leukocytes and is predicted to encode a type II membrane protein of 301 amino acids with 92% identity to human CD38. Both RT-PCR-mediated cDNA cloning and genomic DNA PCR surveying were possible with heterologous human CD38 primers, demonstrating the striking conservation of CD38 in these primates. Transfection of the cDNA coincided with: (i) surface expression of cynomolgus macaque CD38 by immunofluorescence; (ii) detection of ~42 and 84 kDa proteins by Western blot and (iii) the appearance of ecto-enzymatic activity. Monoclonal antibodies were raised against the cynomolgus CD38 ectodomain and were either species-specific or cross-reactive with human CD38, in which case they were directed against a common disulfide-requiring conformational epitope that was mapped to the C-terminal disulfide loop. Conclusion: This multi-faceted characterization of CD38 from cynomolgus macaque demonstrates its high genetic and biochemical similarities with human CD38 while the immunological comparison adds new insights into the dominant epitopes of the primate CD38 ectodomain. These results open new prospects for the biomedical and pharmacological investigations of this receptor-enzyme.
Characterization and phylogenetic epitope mapping of CD38 ADPR cyclase in the cynomolgus macaque / Ferrero, E; Orciani, Monia; Vacca, P; Ortolan, E; Crovella, S; Titti, F; Saccucci, Franca; Malavasi, F.. - In: BMC IMMUNOLOGY. - ISSN 1471-2172. - 5:(2004), p. 21. [10.1186/1471-2172-5-21]