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Biochem Pharmacol. 1983 May 15;32(10):1601-8.

Forskolin and ethanol both perturb the structure of liver plasma membranes and activate adenylate cyclase activity.


Both forskolin and ethanol elicit the activation of basal and ligand-stimulated adenylate cyclase activities in rat liver plasma membranes. Ethanol is most potent at activating the fluoride- and glucagon-stimulated activities whilst having little effect on basal activity. In contrast forskolin exerts its greatest effect on basal activity. Over the concentration range that ethanol activates adenylate cyclase, it also increases bilayer fluidity as indicated by a decrease in the values of the order parameters for an incorporated fatty acid spin probe. At high concentrations forskolin does increase bilayer fluidity. However, it only begins to do so at concentrations above those where forskolin has already exerted its maximal effect in activating adenylate cyclase. Forskolin can still activate, albeit to a reduced extent, detergent-solubilized adenylate cyclase whereas ethanol cannot. Forskolin elicits a pronounced rise in hepatocyte intracellular cyclic AMP concentrations, whereas ethanol does not. Both forskolin and ethanol reduce the temperature of onset of the lipid phase separation occurring in rat liver plasma membranes. This is detected in Arrhenius plots of both glucagon-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity and order parameters of an incorporated fatty acid spin probe, where we find that forskolin is particularly potent in decreasing the temperature at which this lipid phase separation occurs. Our results are consistent with the notion that forskolin exerts its effect on adenylate cyclase primarily by a direct action on the catalytic unit of the enzyme. However, as forskolin is a potent perturber of the organisation of the lipid bilayer it is possible that this could modulate its effect on adenylate cyclase and might be expected to affect the activity of other membrane enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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