Evolution of alkaline phosphatases in primates.
Alkaline phosphatase [orthophosphoric-monoester phosphohydrolase (alkaline optimum), EC 18.104.22.168] in placenta, intestine, liver, kidney, bone, and lung from a variety of primate species has been characterized by quantitative inhibition, thermostability, and immunological studies. Characteristic human placental-type alkaline phosphatase occurs in placentas of great apes (chimpanzee and orangutan) but not in placentas of other primates, including gibbon. It is also present in trace amounts in human lung but not in lung or other tissues of various Old and New World monkeys. However, a distinctive alkaline phosphatase resembling it occurs in substantial amounts in lungs from Old World monkeys but not New World monkeys. It appears that duplication of alkaline phosphatase genes and mutations of genetic elements controlling their tissue expression have occurred relatively recently in mammalian evolution.