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J Biol Chem. 1996 Jul 19;271(29):17267-74.

Cloning and characterization of the signal transduction of four splice variants of the human pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide receptor. Evidence for dual coupling to adenylate cyclase and phospholipase C.

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  • 1Digestive Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Alternative splicing of two exons of the rat pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) receptor gene generates four major splice variants that are differentially expressed in specific tissues and variably coupled to intracellular second messengers. To evaluate the potential implications of these findings in human physiology, the human PACAP receptor gene was cloned. Alternative splicing about two exons of the gene allowed for four major splice variants that were subsequently identified on cDNA cloning. Each of the four splice variant cDNAs (null, SV-1, SV-2, and SV-3) was stably expressed in NIH/3T3 cells at similar receptor densities. For each splice variant, PACAP (both PACAP-38 and PACAP-27) had similar affinity and potency for stimulating either adenylate cyclase or phospholipase C. However, each receptor splice variant differed in their ligand-stimulated maximal response (efficacy) for total inositol phosphate accumulation with the SV-2 showing the greatest efficacy, followed by the null, SV-1, and SV-3 splice variants. Therefore, unlike the rat, PACAP binds and stimulates signal transduction with nearly equal affinity and potency for each of the receptor splice variants although with varying efficacy for the stimulation of phospholipase C. These results suggest a novel and potentially important mechanism for a single hormone to not only couple to dual signal transduction cascades but also elicit tissue-specific differential activation of phospholipase C in humans.

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