Identification of Novel Adenylyl Cyclase 5 (AC5) Signaling Networks in D1 and D2 Medium Spiny Neurons using Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation Screening

Cells. 2019 Nov 19;8(11):1468. doi: 10.3390/cells8111468.


Adenylyl cyclase type 5 (AC5), as the principal isoform expressed in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), is essential for the integration of both stimulatory and inhibitory midbrain signals that initiate from dopaminergic G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation. The spatial and temporal control of cAMP signaling is dependent upon the composition of local regulatory protein networks. However, there is little understanding of how adenylyl cyclase protein interaction networks adapt to the multifarious pressures of integrating acute versus chronic and inhibitory vs. stimulatory receptor signaling in striatal MSNs. Here, we presented the development of a novel bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC)-based protein-protein interaction screening methodology to further identify and characterize elements important for homeostatic control of dopamine-modulated AC5 signaling in a neuronal model cell line and striatal MSNs. We identified two novel AC5 modulators: the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit (PPP2CB) and the intracellular trafficking associated protein-NSF (N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor) attachment protein alpha (NAPA). The effects of genetic knockdown (KD) of each gene were evaluated in several cellular models, including D1- and D2-dopamine receptor-expressing MSNs from CAMPER mice. The knockdown of PPP2CB was associated with a reduction in acute and sensitized adenylyl cyclase activity, implicating PP2A is an important and persistent regulator of adenylyl cyclase activity. In contrast, the effects of NAPA knockdown were more nuanced and appeared to involve an activity-dependent protein interaction network. Taken together, these data represent a novel screening method and workflow for the identification and validation of adenylyl cyclase protein-protein interaction networks under diverse cAMP signaling paradigms.

Keywords: AC5; BiFC; NAPA; PP2A; adenylyl cyclase; cAMP; dopamine; striatum.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Drug Discovery
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • adenylyl cyclase type V
  • Dopamine