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Methods Mol Biol. 2005;307:85-92.

Determination of Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulated phosphodiesterase activity in intact cells.

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Pulmonary Critical Care Branch, NHLBI, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-stimulated phosphodiesterases (PDEs) constitute a large family (PDE1 family) of enzymes. All members of the PDE1 family can be stimulated by Ca(2+) in the presence of CaM in vitro. It has been shown that the Ca(2+)/CaM-stimulated PDE activity present in the vessel wall or vascular smooth muscle cells can be stimulated in vivo by contracting reagents that increase intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. We describe in detail a technique used to estimate the extent of PDE1 activation in vivo by measuring in vitro the PDE activity that represents the extent of association between Ca(2+)-CaM and PDE1 in vivo. The technique involves the extraction and rapid assay of enzyme activity at a low temperature and in the presence of trifluoperazine to minimize the changes in association between Ca(2+)-CaM and the PDE1 family member during cell lysis and assaying activity. This technique can be used to measure Ca(2+)/CaM-stimulated PDE activity in cultured cells or tissues.

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