A role for Ni in the hormonal stimulation of adenylate cyclase

Nature. 1985 Nov;318(6043):293-5. doi: 10.1038/318293a0.


The best understood system for transduction of extracellular messages into intracellular signals is the hormone receptor-coupled adenylate cyclase. In such systems receptors are functionally coupled to the enzyme by two special proteins, termed the stimulatory and inhibitory guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins (Ns and Ni, respectively). These proteins, thought to mediate, respectively, stimulatory and inhibitory influences on the adenylate cyclase, are members of a larger class of heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins involved in membrane signal transduction. We have studied the interactions of the various components of the adenylate cyclase system by co-reconstituting pure beta-adrenergic receptors, pure Ns and Ni, and functionally resolved preparations of the catalyst in phospholipid vesicles. In the absence of Ni, beta-adrenergic receptor/Ns-mediated catecholamine stimulation of the enzyme is relatively modest (approximately 1.3-fold). Surprisingly, however, when Ni is also present, stimulation increases dramatically (up to 7-8-fold) because of a greater suppression of basal relative to agonist-stimulated enzyme activity. Thus, Ni may actually be required for maximal agonist stimulation as well as for inhibition of the adenylate cyclase.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isoproterenol / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Isoproterenol