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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Apr;23(2):181-90. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

cAMP: novel concepts in compartmentalised signalling.

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Institute of Neuroscience and Molecular Pharmacology, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.


Cyclic adenosine 3,'5'-monophosphate (cAMP) is the archetypal second messenger produced at the membrane by adenylyl cyclase following activation of many different G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) types. Although discovered over fifty years ago, the notion that cAMP responses were compartmentalised was born in the 1980s. Since then, modern molecular techniques have facilitated visualisation of cellular cAMP dynamics in real time and helped us to understand how a single, ubiquitous second messenger can direct receptor-specific functions in cells. The aim of this review is to highlight emerging ideas in the cAMP field that are currently developing the concept of compartmentalised cAMP signalling systems.

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