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Department of Pharmacology

Tovey, SC, Dedos, SG, Taylor, EJA, Church, JE, Taylor, CW

Interactions between cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and Ca(2+) are widespread, and for both intracellular messengers, their spatial organization is important. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates formation of cAMP and sensitizes inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP(3)R) to IP(3). We show that PTH communicates with IP(3)R via "cAMP junctions" that allow local delivery of a supramaximal concentration of cAMP to IP(3)R, directly increasing their sensitivity to IP(3). These junctions are robust binary switches that are digitally recruited by increasing concentrations of PTH. Human embryonic kidney cells express several isoforms of adenylyl cyclase (AC) and IP(3)R, but IP(3)R2 and AC6 are specifically associated, and inhibition of AC6 or IP(3)R2 expression by small interfering RNA selectively attenuates potentiation of Ca(2+) signals by PTH. We define two modes of cAMP signaling: binary, where cAMP passes directly from AC6 to IP(3)R2; and analogue, where local gradients of cAMP concentration regulate cAMP effectors more remote from AC. Binary signaling requires localized delivery of cAMP, whereas analogue signaling is more dependent on localized cAMP degradation.

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20 October 2008
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Journal articles
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J Cell Biol
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