by Hadi Rahmaninejad, Tom Pace, Shashank Bhatt, Bin Sun, Peter Kekenes-Huskey
Nucleotides comprise small molecules that perform critical signaling roles in biological systems. Adenosine-based nucleotides, including adenosine tri-, di-, and mono-phosphate, are controlled through their rapid degradation by diphosphohydrolases and ecto-nucleotidases (NDAs). The interplay between nucleotide signaling and degradation is especially important in synapses formed between cells, which create signaling ‘nanodomains’. Within these ‘nanodomains’, charged nucleotides interact with densely-packed membranes and biomolecules. While the contributions of electrostatic and steric interactions within such nanodomains are known to shape diffusion-limited reaction rates, less is understood about how these factors control the kinetics of nucleotidase activity. To quantify these factors, we utilized reaction-diffusion numerical simulations of 1) adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis into adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and 2) AMP into adenosine (Ado) via two representative nucleotidases, CD39 and CD73. We evaluate these sequentially-coupled reactions in nanodomain geometries representative of extracellular synapses, within which we localize the nucleotidases. With this model, we find that 1) nucleotidase confinement reduces reaction rates relative to an open (bulk) system, 2) the rates of AMP and ADO formation are accelerated by restricting the diffusion of substrates away from the enzymes, and 3) nucleotidase co-localization and the presence of complementary (positive) charges to ATP enhance reaction rates, though the impact of these contributions on nucleotide pools depends on the degree to which the membrane competes for substrates. As a result, these contributions integratively control the relative concentrations and distributions of ATP and its metabolites within the junctional space. Altogether, our studies suggest that CD39 and CD73 nucleotidase activity within junctional spaces can exploit their confinement and favorable electrostatic interactions to finely control nucleotide signaling.