Polychaete fan worms and ascidians accumulate high levels of vanadium ions. Several vanadiumbinding proteins, known as vanabins, have been found in ascidians. However, no vanadium-binding factors have been isolated from the fan worm. In the present study, we sought to identify vanadiumbinding proteins in the branchial crown of the fan worm using immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography. A nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDK) homolog was isolated and determined to be a vanadium-binding protein. Kinase activity of the NDK homologue, PoNDK, was suppressed by the addition of V(IV), but was unaffected by V(V). The effect of V(IV) on PoNDK precedes its activation by Mg(II). This is the first report to describe the relationship between NDK and V(IV). PoNDK is located in the epidermis of the branchial crown, and its distribution is very similar to that of vanadium. These results suggest that PoNDK is associated with vanadium accumulation and metabolism in P. occelata.
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Vol. 33 • No. 3