Aim: Confining cAMP production to discrete subcellular locations makes it possible for this ubiquitous second messenger to elicit unique functional responses. Yet, factors that determine how and where the production of this diffusible signaling molecule occurs are incompletely understood. The fluid mosaic model originally proposed that signal transduction occurs through random interactions between proteins diffusing freely throughout the plasma membrane. However, it is now known that the movement of membrane proteins is restricted, suggesting that the plasma membrane is segregated into distinct microdomains where different signaling proteins can be concentrated. In this study, we examined what role lipid raft and non-raft membrane domains play in compartmentation of cAMP signaling in adult ventricular myocytes. Methods and Results: The freely diffusible fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor Epac2-camps was used to measure global cytosolic cAMP responses, while versions of the probe targeted to lipid raft (Epac2-MyrPalm) and non-raft (Epac2-CAAX) domains were used to monitor local cAMP production near the plasma membrane. We found that β-adrenergic receptors, which are expressed in lipid raft and non-raft domains, produce cAMP responses near the plasma membrane that are distinctly different from those produced by E-type prostaglandin receptors, which are expressed exclusively in non-raft domains. We also found that there are differences in basal cAMP levels associated with lipid raft and non-raft domains, and that this can be explained by differences in basal adenylyl cyclase activity associated with each of these membrane environments. In addition, we found evidence that phosphodiesterases 2, 3, and 4 work together in regulating cAMP activity associated with both lipid raft and non-raft domains, while phosphodiesterase 3 plays a more prominent role in the bulk cytoplasmic compartment. Conclusion: These results suggest that different membrane domains contribute to the formation of distinct pools of cAMP under basal conditions as well as following receptor stimulation in adult ventricular myocytes.
Keywords: cAMP; caveolae; compartmentation; lipid rafts; membrane microdomains.