Adenylyl cyclase 3/adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) complex mediates the anti-migratory effect of forskolin in pancreatic cancer cells

Sierra N Quinn, Sarai H Graves, Clayton Dains-McGahee, Emilee M Friedman, Humma Hassan, Piotr Witkowski, Maria E Sabbatini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human malignancies. A better understanding of the intracellular mechanism of migration and invasion is urgently needed to develop treatment that will suppress metastases and improve overall survival. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) is a second messenger that has shown to regulate migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells. The rise of cyclic AMP suppressed migration and invasion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. Cyclic AMP is formed from cytosolic ATP by the enzyme adenylyl cyclase (AC). There are ten isoforms of ACs; nine are anchored in the plasma membrane and one is soluble. What remains unknown is the extent to which the expression of transmembrane AC isoforms is both modified in pancreatic cancer and mediates the inhibitory effect of forskolin on cell motility. Using real-time PCR analysis, ADCY3 was found to be highly expressed in pancreatic tumor tissues, resulting in a constitutive increase in cyclic AMP levels. On the other hand, ADCY2 was down-regulated. Migration, invasion, and filopodia formation in two different pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines, HPAC and PANC-1 deficient in AC1 or AC3, were studied. We found that AC3, upon stimulation with forskolin, enhanced cyclic AMP levels and inhibited cell migration and invasion. Unlikely to be due to a cytotoxic effect, the inhibitory effects of forskolin involved the quick formation of AC3/adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1)/G-actin complex, which inhibited filopodia formation and cell motility. Using Western blotting analysis, forskolin, through AC3 activation, caused phosphorylation of CREB, but not ERK. The effect of CREB phosphorylation is likely to be associated with long-term signaling changes. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Early online dateNov 27 2016
StateE-pub ahead of print - Nov 27 2016


  • Adenylyl cyclase
  • CAP1
  • Forskolin
  • Migration
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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