Cellular localisation of adenylyl cyclase: a post-genome perspective

Neurochem Res. 2006 Feb;31(2):287-95. doi: 10.1007/s11064-005-9019-1.


The intracellular messenger cAMP is essential for vital processes ranging from ovulation to cognition. There are 10 genes for adenylyl cyclase (AC), the biosynthetic enzyme of cAMP. Nine of these encode membrane-bound proteins and one gives rise to soluble AC. The understanding of the biological significance of this molecular diversity is incomplete. Membrane-bound ACs conform to the same structural blueprint but have markedly different regulatory characteristics. AC mRNAs are differentially distributed in the body suggesting non-redundant physiological functions. The subcellular localisation of AC isoforms has not been examined in detail. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the intracellular targeting of AC isoforms, and highlight the technical problems of AC detection, some of which appear to be caused by the poor quality-control of commercially supplied antibodies. The principal message is that intracellular targeting of ACs may be isoform-specific and also dependent on the cellular context of expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / genetics
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Adenylyl Cyclases