Bordetella pertussis organisms secrete adenylate cyclase, at least one form of which can invade host cells and appears to be a virulence factor. Treatment of urea extracts containing invasive cyclase of B. pertussis with trypsin, chymotrypsin, or subtilisin abolishes the ability to increase intracellular cyclic AMP levels in CHO cells (invasiveness) at concentrations that have minimal or no effects on adenylate cyclase activity. Higher protease concentrations can inhibit catalytic activity, and 1 microM calmodulin protects this catalytic activity, but not invasiveness, against proteolytic inhibition. Rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) fractions from antisera prepared against urea extracts inhibited invasiveness at 10-fold-lower concentrations than inhibited catalytic activity. One IgG from a rabbit immunized against a partially purified, noninvasive form of the B. pertussis adenylate cyclase inhibited catalytic activity but was ineffective against invasiveness. We conclude that these two properties of the adenylate cyclase are independent functions that reside on different domains of the same protein or on different proteins.