Naphthol-ASBI phosphate as a preferred substrate for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform 5b

J Bone Miner Res. 2001 Apr;16(4):788-93. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2001.16.4.788.


Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) isoform 5b is a potential serum marker for osteoclastic activity. Biochemical assays for serum TRAP activity with para-nitrophenylphosphate (pNPP) have low specificity for bone because of hydrolysis by unrelated nontype 5 TRAPs of blood cells and by related isoform 5a. Our purpose was to increase the specificity of TRAP assay for osteoclastic activity by using naphthol-ASBI phosphate (N-ASBI-P) as a substrate for serum type 5 TRAP activity and heparin as an inhibitor of isoform 5a. TRAP activity in individual and pooled sera of normal subjects and patients with endstage renal disease (ESRD) and rheumatologic diseases was quantitated using pNPP and N-ASBI-P as substrate at pH 5.5 and 6.1. For some experiments, heparin (23U/ml) was added as a specific inhibitor of isoform 5a activity. Isoforms 5a and 5b were separated from serum pools by cation exchange chromatography and identified by nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). N-ASBI-P was selectively hydrolyzed by TRAP isoform 5b. TRAP assays with pNPP and N-ASBI-P correlated only in ESRD sera, which contained primarily isoform 5b. The two assays did not correlate in normal or rheumatic sera with significant amounts of 5a. Heparin inhibited isoform 5a activity approximately 50% but had little effect on isoform 5b activity. Biochemical assay of serum TRAP activity can be made specific for isoform 5b by using N-ASBI-P and heparin. This method can be adapted to simple microplate biochemical or immunochemical assays. This simplified method for assessment of osteoclastic TRAP 5b activity warrants a detailed investigation in diseases of bone metabolism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Acid Phosphatase / isolation & purification
  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism*
  • Aniline Compounds / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / enzymology
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Remodeling*
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests / methods*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Heparin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrolysis
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / isolation & purification
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / enzymology
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / metabolism*
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism
  • Osteolysis / blood
  • Osteolysis / diagnosis*
  • Osteolysis / enzymology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Biomarkers
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • naphthol AS-BI phosphate
  • 4-aminophenylphosphate
  • Heparin
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase