Structure of NPP1, an ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase involved in tissue calcification

Silvia Jansen, Anastassis Perrakis, Chris Ulens, Claudia Winkler, Maria Andries, Robbie P. Joosten, Maarten Van Acker, Frank P. Luyten, Wouter H. Moolenaar, Mathieu Bollen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-1 (NPP1) converts extracellular nucleotides into inorganic pyrophosphate, whereas its close relative NPP2/autotaxin hydrolyzes lysophospholipids. NPP1 regulates calcification in mineralization-competent tissues, and a lack of NPP1 function underlies calcification disorders. Here, we show that NPP1 forms homodimers via intramembrane disulfide bonding, but is also processed intracellularly to a secreted monomer. The structure of secreted NPP1 reveals a characteristic bimetallic active site and a nucleotide-binding groove, but it lacks the lipid-binding pocket and open tunnel present in NPP2. A loop adjacent to the nucleotide-binding site, which is disordered in NPP2, is well ordered in NPP1 and might promote nucleotide binding. Remarkably, the N-terminal somatomedin B-like domains of NPP1, unlike those in NPP2, are flexible and do not contact the catalytic domain. Our results provide a structural basis for the nucleotide pyrophosphatase activity of NPP1 and help to understand how disease-causing mutations may affect NPP1 structure and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1948-1959
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 7 2012


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