Recombinant expression in Escherichia coli of human cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 4B2 (hPDE4B2) fused to maltose-binding-protein (MBP-hPDE4B2) was investigated. hPDE4B2 DNA amplified via nested RT-PCR with total RNAs from U937 cells was ligated with pMAL-p2x. After induction at 18 degrees C for 16 h, soluble MBP-hPDE4B2 was produced in E. coli. MBP-hPDE4B2 after amylose-resin chromatography showed 35% homogeneity, and its Michaelis-Menten constant was 10+/-2 microM (n=3). Rolipram had a dissociation constant of 9+/-2 nM (n=2), and zinc ion was a potent inhibitor. Hence, MBP-hPDE4B2 was expressed in E. coli as a soluble active protein.