Cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase is a phosphodiesterase that cleaves the cyclic bond of cyclic inositol monophosphate. In 1990, Ross et al. (Ross, T. S., Tait, J. F., and Majerus, P. W. (1990) Science 248, 605-607) purified this enzyme from human placenta and reported that cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase is identical to annexin III. Independent confirmation of this finding has not been provided. The relative distribution of annexin III and cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase activity in rat kidney and spleen indicated that annexin III can be dissociated from cyclic inositol phospbohydrolase activity. Rat spleen contains large quantities of annexin III, but has very little cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase activity. In contrast, rat kidney, one of the richest sources of cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase activity, possesses very little (immunohistochemistry) or no (Western blot) annexin III. Similar to cytosol of human placenta, cytosol of guinea pig kidney contains both annexin III and cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase. On SDS-gel electrophoresis, guinea pig kidney annexin III has a slightly different mobility than the human placental annexin III. Human placental annexin III co-migrates with cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase on ion exchange chromatography, while guinea pig kidney annexin III is clearly dissociated from cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase on ion exchange chromatography. Both guinea pig kidney annexin III and human placental annexin III pellet with the addition of calcium and centrifugation, while cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase activity in both of these tissues remains in the supernatant. Our studies clearly show that cyclic inositol phosphohydrolase and annexin III are two different proteins.