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Cell Regul. 1990 Feb;1(3):279-90.

Comparison of Ca2+ mobilizing activities of cyclic ADP-ribose and inositol trisphosphate.

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Department of Physiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


We have previously shown that a metabolite of NAD+ generated by an enzyme present in sea urchin eggs and mammalian tissues can mobilize intracellular Ca2+ in the eggs. Structural determination established it to be a cyclized ADP-ribose, and the name cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) has been proposed. In this study, Ca2+ mobilizations induced by cADPR and inositol trisphosphate (IP3) in sea urchin egg homogenates were monitored with Ca2+ indicators and Ca2(+)-specific electrodes. Both methods showed that cADPR can release Ca2+ from egg homogenates. Evidence indicated that it did not act as a nonspecific Ca2(+)-ionophore or as a blocker of the microsomal Ca2(+)-transport; instead, it was likely to be operating through a specific receptor system. This was supported by its half-maximal effective concentration of 18 nM, which was 7 times lower than that of IP3. The receptor for cADPR appeared to be different from that of IP3 because heparin, an inhibitor of IP3 binding, had no effect on the cADPR action. The Ca2+ releases induced by cADPR and IP3 were not additive and had an inverse relationship, indicating overlapping stores were mobilized. Microinjection of cADPR into intact eggs induced transient intracellular Ca2+ changes and activated the cortical reaction. The in vivo effectiveness of cADPR was directly comparable with IP3 and neither required external Ca2+. In addition, both were effective in activating the eggs to undergo multiple nuclear cycles and DNA synthesis. These results suggest that cADPR could function as a second messenger in sea urchin eggs.

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