Diethylaminoethyl-cellulose chromatography was used to separate the two isoenzymes of adenosine deaminase (EC 18.104.22.168), adenosine deaminase1 (ADA1) and adenosine deaminase2 (ADA2), in human plasma. One hundred and fifteen purine base, nucleoside, and nucleotide analogs were tested as inhibitors of this partially purified preparation of ADA2. Coformycin and 2'-deoxycoformycin were by far the most potent inhibitors of this isoenzyme (apparent Ki values 20 and 19 nM, respectively). ADA2 was also inhibited by nebularine (apparent Ki 1.5 mM) but was resistant to the potent ADA1 inhibitor (+)-erythro-9(2-S-hydroxy-3-R-nonyl)adenine. α-d-Adenosine also inhibited ADA2, as did several halogenated purine and adenine base analogs. Structural requirements for the binding of purine analogs to ADA2 are presented which provide a general basis for the design of specific inhibitors of ADA2. Such inhibitors may be useful in studies designed to provide an understanding of the physiological role of ADA2 both in the normal state and in diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection where levels in plasma are increased markedly.
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