Creating order from chaos: cellular regulation by kinase anchoring

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013;53:187-210. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-011112-140204. Epub 2012 Oct 8.


Second messenger responses rely on where and when the enzymes that propagate these signals become active. Spatial and temporal organization of certain signaling enzymes is controlled in part by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). This family of regulatory proteins was originally classified on the basis of their ability to compartmentalize the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (also known as protein kinase A, or PKA). However, it is now recognized that AKAPs position G protein-coupled receptors, adenylyl cyclases, G proteins, and their effector proteins in relation to protein kinases and signal termination enzymes such as phosphodiesterases and protein phosphatases. This arrangement offers a simple and efficient means to limit the scope, duration, and directional flow of information to sites deep within the cell. This review focuses on the pros and cons of reagents that define the biological role of kinase anchoring inside cells and discusses recent advances in our understanding of anchored second messenger signaling in the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems*


  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • Protein Kinases