Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 1, Issue 1–2, pp 121–154 | Cite as

β-Adrenergic receptor-coupled adenylate cyclase

Biochemical mechanisms of regulation
  • David R. Sibley
  • Robert J. Lefkowitz


β-Adrenergic receptor-coupled adenylate cyclase is regulated by both amplification and desensitization processes. Desensitization of adenylate cyclase is divided into two major categories.Homologous desensitization is initiated by phosphorylation of the receptors by a β-adrenergic receptor kinase. This reaction serves to functionally uncouple the receptors and trigger their sequestration away from the cell surface. These sequestered receptors can rapidly recycle to the cell surface or, with time, become down regulated, being destroyed within the cell. Dephosphorylation of the receptors is accomplished in the sequestered compartment of the cell, which may functionally regenerate the receptors and allow their return to the cell surface. Inheterologous desensitization, receptor function is also regulated by phosphorylation, but in the absence of receptor sequestration or down regulation. In this case, phosphorylation serves only to functionally uncouple the receptors, that is, to impair their interactions with the guanine nucleotide regulatory protein Ns. Several protein kinases are capable of promoting this phosphorylation, including the cAMP-dependent kinase and protein kinase C. In addition to the receptor phosphorylation, heterologous desensitization is associated with modifications at the level of the nucleotide regulatory protein Ns and perhaps Ni. Adenylate cyclase systems are also subject to amplification that involves a protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation of the catalytic unit of the enzyme. Phosphorylation of the catalytic unit enhances its catalytic activity and results in amplified stimulation by the regulatory protein Ns. Other receptor/ effector systems exhibit qualitatively similar regulatory phenomena, suggesting that covalent modification (phosphorylation) may represent a general mechanism for regulating receptor function.

Index Entries

β-Adrenergic receptor adenylate cyclase N proteins desensitization amplification phosphorylation 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Sibley
    • 1
  • Robert J. Lefkowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Howard Hughes Medical Institute Departments of Medicine and BiochemistryDuke University Medical CenterDurham

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