Activation of Adenylyl Cyclase Causes Stimulation of Adenosine Receptors

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;45(6):2516-2528. doi: 10.1159/000488270. Epub 2018 Mar 27.


Background/aims: Signaling of Gs protein-coupled receptors (GsPCRs) is accomplished by stimulation of adenylyl cyclase, causing an increase of the intracellular cAMP concentration, activation of the intracellular cAMP effectors protein kinase A (PKA) and Epac, and an efflux of cAMP, the function of which is still unclear.

Methods: Activation of adenylyl cyclase by GsPCR agonists or cholera toxin was monitored by measurement of the intracellular cAMP concentration by ELISA, anti-phospho-PKA substrate motif phosphorylation by immunoblotting, and an Epac-FRET assay in the presence and absence of adenosine receptor antagonists or ecto-nucleotide phosphodiesterase/pyrophosphatase2 (eNPP2) inhibitors. The production of AMP from cAMP by recombinant eNPP2 was measured by HPLC. Extracellular adenosine was determined by LC-MS/MS, extracellular ATP by luciferase and LC-MS/MS. The expression of eNPP isoenzymes 1-3 was examined by RT-PCR. The expression of multidrug resistance protein 4 was suppressed by siRNA.

Results: Here we show that the activation of GsPCRs and the GsPCRs-independent activation of Gs proteins and adenylyl cyclase by cholera toxin induce stimulation of cell surface adenosine receptors (A2A or A2B adenosine receptors). In PC12 cells stimulation of adenylyl cyclase by GsPCR or cholera toxin caused activation of A2A adenosine receptors by an autocrine signaling pathway involving cAMP efflux through multidrug resistance protein 4 and hydrolysis of released cAMP to AMP by eNPP2. In contrast, in PC3 cells cholera toxin- and GsPCR-induced stimulation of adenylyl cyclase resulted in the activation of A2B adenosine receptors.

Conclusion: Our findings show that stimulation of adenylyl cyclase causes a remarkable activation of cell surface adenosine receptors.

Keywords: Adenosine receptors; Adenylyl cyclase; MRP4; PKA; cAMP; eNPP2.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / metabolism
  • PC12 Cells
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2B / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2B
  • Cyclic AMP
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs
  • Adenylyl Cyclases