Distinct metal ion requirements for the phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities of calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase

Open Biochem J. 2011:5:67-72. doi: 10.2174/1874091X01105010067. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


The roles of Mg(2+) and Zn(2+) ions in promoting phosphoryl transfer catalysed by alkaline phosphatase are yet to be fully characterised. We investigated the divalent metal ion requirements for the monoesterase and diesterase activities of calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase. The synergistic effect of Mg(2+) and Zn(2+) in promoting the hydrolysis of para-nitrophenyl phosphate (monoesterase reaction) by alkaline phosphatase is not observed in the hydrolysis of the diesterase substrate, bis-para-nitrophenyl phosphate. Indeed, the diesterase reaction is inhibited by concentrations of Mg(2+) that were optimal for the monoesterase reaction. This study reveals that the substrate specificities of alkaline phosphatases and related bimetalloenzymes are subject to regulation by changes in the nature and availability of cofactors, and the different cofactor requirements of the monoesterase and diesterase reactions of mammalian alkaline phosphatases could have significance for the biological functions of the enzymes.

Keywords: Alkaline phosphatase; metal ion cofactors.; phosphodiester hydrolysis.