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J Cell Biol. 2005 Oct 24;171(2):303-12.

Termination of cAMP signals by Ca2+ and G(alpha)i via extracellular Ca2+ sensors: a link to intracellular Ca2+ oscillations.

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Veterans' Affairs Boston Healthcare System, West Roxbury, MA 02132, USA.


Termination of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling via the extracellular Ca(2+)-sensing receptor (CaR) was visualized in single CaR-expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells using ratiometric fluorescence resonance energy transfer-dependent cAMP sensors based on protein kinase A and Epac. Stimulation of CaR rapidly reversed or prevented agonist-stimulated elevation of cAMP through a dual mechanism involving pertussis toxin-sensitive Galpha(i) and the CaR-stimulated increase in intracellular [Ca2+]. In parallel measurements with fura-2, CaR activation elicited robust Ca2+ oscillations that increased in frequency in the presence of cAMP, eventually fusing into a sustained plateau. Considering the Ca2+ sensitivity of cAMP accumulation in these cells, lack of oscillations in [cAMP] during the initial phases of CaR stimulation was puzzling. Additional experiments showed that low-frequency, long-duration Ca2+ oscillations generated a dynamic staircase pattern in [cAMP], whereas higher frequency spiking had no effect. Our data suggest that the cAMP machinery in HEK cells acts as a low-pass filter disregarding the relatively rapid Ca2+ spiking stimulated by Ca(2+)-mobilizing agonists under physiological conditions.

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