Cell physiology of cAMP sensor Epac. J Physiol

Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.
The Journal of Physiology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 12/2006; 577(Pt 1):5-15. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2006.119644
Source: PubMed


Epac is an acronym for the exchange proteins activated directly by cyclic AMP, a family of cAMP-regulated guanine nucleotide exchange factors (cAMPGEFs) that mediate protein kinase A (PKA)-independent signal transduction properties of the second messenger cAMP. Two variants of Epac exist (Epac1 and Epac2), both of which couple cAMP production to the activation of Rap, a small molecular weight GTPase of the Ras family. By activating Rap in an Epac-mediated manner, cAMP influences diverse cellular processes that include integrin-mediated cell adhesion, vascular endothelial cell barrier formation, and cardiac myocyte gap junction formation. Recently, the identification of previously unrecognized physiological processes regulated by Epac has been made possible by the development of Epac-selective cyclic AMP analogues (ESCAs). These cell-permeant analogues of cAMP activate both Epac1 and Epac2, whereas they fail to activate PKA when used at low concentrations. ESCAs such as 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP and 8-pMeOPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP are reported to alter Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Cl(-) channel function, intracellular [Ca(2+)], and Na(+)-H(+) transporter activity in multiple cell types. Moreover, new studies examining the actions of ESCAs on neurons, pancreatic beta cells, pituitary cells and sperm demonstrate a major role for Epac in the stimulation of exocytosis by cAMP. This topical review provides an update concerning novel PKA-independent features of cAMP signal transduction that are likely to be Epac-mediated. Emphasized is the emerging role of Epac in the cAMP-dependent regulation of ion channel function, intracellular Ca(2+) signalling, ion transporter activity and exocytosis.


Available from: George G Holz
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    • "GTPase-activating proteins then convert Rap to the inactive form. The activated Rap-GTP activates a variety of different mechanisms in the cell: promotes integrin-mediated cell adhesion, gap junction formation and ERK 1/2 MAPK-mediated protein phosphorylation, stimulates phospholipase C-ε which hydrolyzes PIP2 to generate diacylglycerol, and the Ca 2+ mobilizing second messenger IP 3 (for a review Holz et al., 2006). Rocher and co-workers initially proposed a physiological role for EPAC in the CB by examining the effects of the EPAC activator (8-pCPT-2 -O-Me-cAMP) and inhibitor (brefeldin) on the release of CAs (Rocher et al., 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic carotid body (CB) activation is now recognized as being essential in the development of hypertension and promoting insulin resistance; thus, it is imperative to characterize the chemotransduction mechanisms of this organ in order to modulate its activity and improve patient outcomes. For several years, and although controversial, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) was considered an important player in initiating the activation of the CB. However, its relevance was partially displaced in the 90s by the emerging role of the mitochondria and molecules such as AMP-activated protein kinase and O2-sensitive K(+) channels. Neurotransmitters/neuromodulators binding to metabotropic receptors are essential to chemotransmission in the CB, and cAMP is central to this process. cAMP also contributes to raise intracellular Ca(2+) levels, and is intimately related to the cellular energetic status (AMP/ATP ratio). Furthermore, cAMP signaling is a target of multiple current pharmacological agents used in clinical practice. This review (1) provides an outline on the classical view of the cAMP-signaling pathway in the CB that originally supported its role in the O2/CO2 sensing mechanism, (2) presents recent evidence on CB cAMP neuromodulation and (3) discusses how CB activity is affected by current clinical therapies that modify cAMP-signaling, namely dopaminergic drugs, caffeine (modulation of A2A/A2B receptors) and roflumilast (PDE4 inhibitors). cAMP is key to any process that involves metabotropic receptors and the intracellular pathways involved in CB disease states are likely to involve this classical second messenger. Research examining the potential modification of cAMP levels and/or interactions with molecules associated with CB hyperactivity is currently in its beginning and this review will open doors for future explorations.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    • "This has led to the discovery of exchange proteins activated by cAMP (Epac) [11]. Using techniques of molecular cloning, two Epac subtypes have been identified (Epac1 and Epac2), which are both capable of activating the small G proteins Rap1 and Rap2 [12] and modulating a wide variety of cellular functions [13,14]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) are model G-protein coupled receptors that mediate signal transduction in the sympathetic nervous system. Despite the widespread clinical use of agents that target β-ARs, the signaling pathways that operate downstream of β-AR stimulation have not yet been completely elucidated. Here, we utilized a lysate microarray approach to obtain a broad-scale perspective of phosphoprotein signaling downstream of β-AR. We monitored the time course of phosphorylation states of 54 proteins after β-AR activation mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells. In response to stimulation with the non-selective β-AR agonist isoproterenol, we observed previously described phosphorylation events such as ERK1/2(T202/Y204) and CREB(S133), but also novel phosphorylation events such as Cdc2(Y15) and Pyk2(Y402). All of these events were mediated through cAMP and PKA as they were reproduced by stimulation with the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and were blocked by treatment with H89, a PKA inhibitor. In addition, we also observed a number of novel isoproterenol-induced protein dephosphorylation events in target substrates of the PI3K/AKT pathway: GSK3β(S9), 4E-BP1(S65), and p70s6k(T389). These dephosphorylations were dependent on cAMP, but were independent of PKA and correlated with reduced PI3K/AKT activity. Isoproterenol stimulation also led to a cAMP-dependent dephosphorylation of PP1α(T320), a modification known to correlate with enhanced activity of this phosphatase. Dephosphorylation of PP1α coincided with the secondary decline in phosphorylation of some PKA-phosphorylated substrates, suggesting that PP1α may act in a feedback loop to return these phosphorylations to baseline. In summary, lysate microarrays are a powerful tool to profile phosphoprotein signaling and have provided a broad-scale perspective of how β-AR signaling can regulate key pathways involved in cell growth and metabolism.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "In eukaryotic cells, the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) – Protein Kinase A (PKA) pathway plays a central role in mediating diverse biological responses such as growth, development, and cell differentiation [1,2]. Stimuli such as hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients, and physiological stress agents trigger signaling cascades that collectively mount a response through cAMP-mediated PKA signaling [3-9]. In the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, activation of PKA in response to essential nutrients and fermentable carbon sources is directed by intracellular levels of cAMP [10]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The cyclic AMP-Protein Kinase A (cAMP-PKA) pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction mechanism that regulates cellular growth and differentiation in animals and fungi. We present a mathematical model that recapitulates the short-term and long-term dynamics of this pathway in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our model is aimed at recapitulating the dynamics of cAMP signaling for wild-type cells as well as single (pde1Δ and pde2Δ) and double (pde1Δpde2Δ) phosphodiesterase mutants. Results Our model focuses on PKA-mediated negative feedback on the activity of phosphodiesterases and the Ras branch of the cAMP-PKA pathway. We show that both of these types of negative feedback are required to reproduce the wild-type signaling behavior that occurs on both short and long time scales, as well as the the observed responses of phosphodiesterase mutants. A novel feature of our model is that, for a wide range of parameters, it predicts that intracellular cAMP concentrations should exhibit decaying oscillatory dynamics in their approach to steady state following glucose stimulation. Experimental measurements of cAMP levels in two genetic backgrounds of S. cerevisiae confirmed the presence of decaying cAMP oscillations as predicted by the model. Conclusions Our model of the cAMP-PKA pathway provides new insights into how yeast respond to alterations in their nutrient environment. Because the model has both predictive and explanatory power it will serve as a foundation for future mathematical and experimental studies of this important signaling network.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · BMC Systems Biology
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