New signaling pathways for hormones and cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate action in endocrine cells

Mol Endocrinol. 2001 Feb;15(2):209-18. doi: 10.1210/mend.15.2.0606.


The glycoprotein hormones, ACTH, TSH, FSH, and LH regulate diverse functions in endocrine cells. Although cAMP and PKA have long been shown to mediate specific intracellular signaling events including the transcription of specific genes via the CREB-CBP complex, recent observations have indicated that PKA does not account for all of the intracellular targets of cAMP. For example, TSH stimulation of thyroid cell proliferation is not completely blocked by PKA inhibitors. TSH and FSH can stimulate PKB phosphorylation by a PKAindependent but PI3-K/PDK1-dependent pathway. An FSH inducible kinase, Sgk, has recently been shown to be a close relative of PKB. Sgk is also a target of PI3-K-PDK1 pathway, indicating that some effects previously ascribed to PKB may be mediated by this inducible kinase. The identification of novel cAMP-binding proteins that exhibit guanine nucleotide exchange (GEF) activity (cAMP-GEFS; Epacs) has open new doors for cAMP action that include activation of small GTPases such as Rap1a, Rap2, and possibly Ras. These GTPases are known activators of downstream kinase cascades, including p38MAPK and Erk1/2 as well as PI3-K. Thus, FSH and TSH activation of PKB and Sgk may occur via this alternative cAMP pathway that involves cAMP-GEFs and the activation of the PI3-K/PDK1 pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / cytology
  • Adrenal Glands / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Endocrine Glands / cytology
  • Endocrine Glands / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Pituitary Hormones / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Testis / cytology
  • Testis / physiology
  • Thyroid Gland / cytology
  • Thyroid Gland / physiology


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases