Specificity in the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway. Differential expression,regulation, and subcellular localization of subunits of PKA

Front Biosci. 2000 Aug 1;5:D678-93. doi: 10.2741/skalhegg.


A large number of hormones, neurotransmitters and other signal substances utilize adenosine 3',5' cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) as an intracellular second messenger. Cyclic AMP regulates a number of different cellular processes such as cell growth and differentiation, ion channel conductivity, synaptic release of neurotransmitters, and gene transcription. The principle intracellular target for cAMP in mammalian cells is the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). The fact that this broad specificity protein kinase mediates a number of discrete physiological responses following cAMP-engagement, has raised the question of how specificity is maintained in the cAMP/PKA system. Here we will describe features of this signaling pathway that may contribute to explain how differential effects of cAMP may be contributed to features of the PKA signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • AKAP3 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases