Sensitization of adenylyl cyclase by P2 purinergic and M5 muscarinic receptor agonists in L cells

J. A. Johnson, J. Friedman, R. D. Halligan, M. Birnbaumer, R. B. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Many hormones have been shown to activate phospholipase C, which results in the hydrolysis of membrane polyphosphoinositides, such as phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Two second messengers are known to be produced by PIP2 hydrolysis, 1,2-diacylglycerol, an endogenous activator of a family of enzymes called protein kinase C (PKCs), and inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate, which raises free levels of intracellular Ca2+. Treatment of various cells with 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a specific exogenous activator of PKCs, causes an enhancement or sensitization of adenylyl cyclase activities. This finding prompted us to examine the effects of direct hormonal activation of PIP2 hydrolysis on the sensitization of adenylyl cyclase. Liao et al. [J. Biol. Chem. 265:11273-11284 (1990)] have shown that P2 purinergic receptor agonists such as ATP and muscarinic receptor agonists such as carbachol stimulate PIP2 hydrolysis in L cells expressing the M5 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. We investigated the effects of these hormones on adenylyl cyclase and contrasted these effects with the sensitizing effects of PMA. We found that ATP pretreatment of two different types of L cells resulted in a rapid 50-150% sensitization of prostaglandin E1-, epinephrine-, and forskolin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity, with an EC50 of 3 μM ATP. This effect was qualitatively similar to that caused by 10 nM PMA. The enhancement of adenylyl cyclase activity was associated with an increase in the V(max) for hormonal stimulation and with a lack of significant effects of ATP on the EC50. The effect was completely eliminated when adenylyl cyclase was assayed in the presence of high free Mg2+ levels (10 mM). Down-regulation of PKCs with long term PMA treatment did not affect the ATP- induced sensitization of adenylyl cyclase, although the PMA- induced sensitization of adenylyl cyclase was eliminated. In contrast to the effects of ATP and PMA, treatment of the cells with carbachol alone had no effect on adenylyl cyclase; however, in combination with nanomolar concentrations of PMA, synergism of the sensitization of adenylyl cyclase was observed. These data indicate that the activation of P2 purinergic receptors by ATP, and possibly activation of M5 muscarinic receptors by carbachol, may be important in the signal transduction pathways leading to the increases in the responsiveness of hormone- stimulated adenylyl cyclase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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