cAMP: novel concepts in compartmentalised signalling

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Apr;23(2):181-90. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Cyclic adenosine 3,'5'-monophosphate (cAMP) is the archetypal second messenger produced at the membrane by adenylyl cyclase following activation of many different G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) types. Although discovered over fifty years ago, the notion that cAMP responses were compartmentalised was born in the 1980s. Since then, modern molecular techniques have facilitated visualisation of cellular cAMP dynamics in real time and helped us to understand how a single, ubiquitous second messenger can direct receptor-specific functions in cells. The aim of this review is to highlight emerging ideas in the cAMP field that are currently developing the concept of compartmentalised cAMP signalling systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Compartmentation*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 3 / metabolism
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Heart / physiology
  • Humans
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 3
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • PDE4D protein, human
  • Adenylyl Cyclases