CD73 is a 70kD glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored cell surface molecule that belongs to the 5'-nucleosidase family. It hydrolyzes extracellular nucleotides into membrane permeable nucleosides and is found as both a membrane-bound and soluble molecule. Because it is abundantly expressed on vascular endothelium and some lymphocyte subpopulations, CD73 is a useful lymphocyte differentiation marker. Like many other GPI-anchored molecules, it transmits T-cell activation signals upon ligand engagement. CD73 functions as a co-stimulatory molecule in human T-cells for both proliferation and activation, and also appears to modulate lymphocyte adhesion. Furthermore, the ecto-5'-nucleotidase activity itself is an important mediator of anti-inflammation because it converts extracellular AMP into adenosine which is a potent anti-inflammatory trigger.
Some research suggests that CD73 activity is useful indicator for mild zinc deficiency. Jalkanen's group at the University of Turku employed the CD73 antibody in their initial characterization of CD73 function, expression, and localization (1). Their follow-up studies with the CD73 antibody then confirmed that their molecule of interest (which they named lymphocyte-vascular adhesions protein 2 or LVAP2) was indeed identical to CD73 and played a role in adhesion (2). Additional work from the same group focused on comparing the biological characteristics of CD73 between different cell types. The CD73 antibody allowed them to demonstrate that its diverse downstream physiological functions were not due to structural variations (3). Further research with the CD73 antibody has shown that CD73 ligand binding triggers CD73 shedding and a concomitant increase in adhesion to the endothelium via LFA-1 clustering –on lymphocytes (but not on endothelial cells) (4). Finally, interesting studies with CD73 antibody implicate interferon-alpha as an important in vivo mediator of CD73 in the endothelium microenvironment as a means of controlling the inflammation response (5).
Novus Biologicals offers CD73 reagents for your research needs including: