Regulation of adenylyl cyclase by membrane potential

Dermot M.F. Cooper, Michael J. Schell, Peter Thorn, Robin F. Irvine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Mammalian adenylyl cyclases possess 12 transmembrane-spanning domains and bear a superficial resemblance to certain classes of ion channels. Some evidence suggests that bacterial and sea urchin sperm adenylyl cyclases can be regulated by membrane depolarization. In the present study, we explored the effect of altering membrane potential on the adenylyl cyclase activity of cerebellar granule cells with acute potassium depolarization. A biphasic stimulatory and then inhibitory response is evoked by progressive increases in the extracellular [K]:[Na] ratio in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. This effect does not mimic the linear increase in membrane potential elicited under the same conditions. Instead it appears as though membrane depolarization opens L-type (nimodipine-sensitive) Ca2+ channels, allowing the entry of Na+, which directly stimulates adenylyl cyclase activity. Gramicidin, which generates pores that are permeable to monovalent cations, and concurrently eliminates the membrane potential, permits a similar stimulation by extracellularly applied Na+. Although the results indicate no direct sensitivity of cerebellar granule cell adenylyl cyclase to membrane potential, they do demonstrate that, as a result of membrane depolarization, the influx of Na+, as well as Ca2+, will elevate cAMP levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27703-27707
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 16 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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