A novel cardioprotective role of RhoA: new signaling mechanism for adenosine

FASEB J. 2001 Sep;15(11):1886-94. doi: 10.1096/fj.01-0212com.


Adenosine exerts a potent cardioprotective effect that is mediated by adenosine A1 and A3 receptors. The signaling pathways activated by the A1 and A3 receptors are distinct and involve selective coupling to phospholipases C and D, respectively. The objective of our study was to elucidate the signaling mechanism that mediates the coupling of each receptor to its respective phospholipase and to test the role of RhoA as a novel mediator leading from adenosine receptors to cardioprotection. C3 transferase and dominant negative RhoA (RhoAT19N) blocked the A3 receptor-mediated phospholipase D activation and cardioprotection but had no effect on A1 receptor-mediated phospholipase C activation or cardioprotection. In contrast, pertussis toxin treatment caused a greater inhibition of the diacylglycerol accumulation induced by the A1 agonist than by the A3 agonist, and it completely abrogated the A1 agonist-mediated cardioprotection. Thus, adenosine A1 and A3 receptors are linked to different G-proteins. The A3 receptor is coupled via RhoA to activate phospholipase D in exerting its cardioprotective effect, whereas the A1 receptor is linked via Gi to phospholipase C to produce cardioprotective responses. The present study identifies a novel role for RhoA and further suggests its importance in regulating cardiac cellular function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ADP Ribose Transferases / metabolism
  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Botulinum Toxins*
  • Diglycerides / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Receptor, Adenosine A3
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1 / genetics
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / pharmacology
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*


  • Diglycerides
  • Receptor, Adenosine A3
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • ADP Ribose Transferases
  • exoenzyme C3, Clostridium botulinum
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Botulinum Toxins
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein
  • Adenosine