Quantification of cAMP and cGMP analogs in intact cells: pitfalls in enzyme immunoassays for cyclic nucleotides.
ABSTRACT: Immunoassays are routinely used as research tools to measure intracellular cAMP and cGMP concentrations. Ideally, this application requires antibodies with high sensitivity and specificity. The present work evaluates the cross-reactivity of commercially available cyclic nucleotide analogs with two non-radioactive and one radioactive cAMP and cGMP immunoassay. Most of the tested cyclic nucleotide analogs showed low degree competition with the antibodies; however, with Rp-cAMPS, 8-Br-cGMP and 8-pCPT-cGMP, a strong cross-reactivity with the corresponding cAMP and cGMP, respectively, immunoassays was observed. The determined EIA-binding constants enabled the measurement of the intracellular cyclic nucleotide concentrations and revealed a time- and lipophilicity-dependent cell membrane permeability of the compounds in the range of 10-30% of the extracellular applied concentration, thus allowing a more accurate prediction of the intracellular analog levels in a given experiment.
Project description:Analogs of the cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP have been extensively used to mimic or modulate cellular events mediated by protein kinase A (PKA), Exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), or protein kinase G (PKG). We report here that some of the most commonly used cyclic nucleotide analogs inhibit transmembrane transport mediated by the liver specific organic anion transporter peptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3, unrelated to actions on Epac, PKA or PKG. Several cAMP analogs, particularly with 8-pCPT-substitution, inhibited nodularin (Nod) induced primary rat hepatocyte apoptosis. Inhibition was not mediated by PKA or Epac, since increased endogenous cAMP, and some strong PKA- or Epac-activating analogs failed to protect cells against Nod induced apoptosis. The cAMP analogs inhibiting Nod induced hepatocyte apoptosis also reduced accumulation of radiolabeled Nod or cholic acid in primary rat hepatocytes. They also inhibited Nod induced apoptosis in HEK293 cells with enforced expression of OATP1B1 or 1B3, responsible for Nod transport into cells. Similar results were found with adenosine analogs, disconnecting the inhibitory effect of certain cAMP analogs from PKA or Epac. The most potent inhibitors were 8-pCPT-6-Phe-cAMP and 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP, whereas analogs like 6-MB-cAMP or 8-Br-cAMP did not inhibit Nod uptake. This suggests that the addition of aromatic ring-containing substituents like the chloro-phenyl-thio group to the purines of cyclic nucleotides increases their ability to inhibit the OATP-mediated transport. Taken together, our data show that aromatic ring substituents can add unwanted effects to cyclic nucleotides, and that such nucleotide analogs must be used with care, particularly when working with cells expressing OATP1B1/1B3, like hepatocytes, or intact animals where hepatic metabolism can be an issue, as well as certain cancer cells. On the other hand, cAMP analogs with substituents like bromo, monobutyryl were non-inhibitory, and could be considered an alternative when working with cells expressing OATP1 family members.
Project description:Cyclic GMP analogs, 8-Br, 8-pCPT, and PET-cGMP, have been widely used for characterizing cellular functions of cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) I and II isotypes. However, interpreting results obtained using these analogs has been difficult due to their low isotype specificity. Additionally, each isotype has two binding sites with different cGMP affinities and analog selectivities, making understanding the molecular basis for isotype specificity of these compounds even more challenging. To determine isotype specificity of cGMP analogs and their structural basis, we generated the full-length regulatory domains of PKG I and II isotypes with each binding site disabled, determined their affinities for these analogs, and obtained cocrystal structures of both isotypes bound with cGMP analogs. Our affinity and activation measurements show that PET-cGMP is most selective for PKG I, whereas 8-pCPT-cGMP is most selective for PKG II. Our structures of cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB) domains reveal that the B site of PKG I is more open and forms a unique ?/? interaction through Arg285 at ?4 with the PET moiety, whereas the A site of PKG II has a larger ?5/?6 pocket that can better accommodate the bulky 8-pCPT moiety. Our structural and functional results explain the selectivity of these analogs for each PKG isotype and provide a starting point for the rational design of isotype selective activators.
Project description:A newly designed cyclic AMP (cAMP) analogue, Sp-5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D- ribofuranosylbenzimidazole-3',5'-monophosphorothioate (Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS), and 8-(p-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP (8-pCPT-cAMP) were compared with respect to their chemical and biological properties in order to assess their potential as activators of the cAMP-dependent protein kinases (cAMP-PK) in intact cells. Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS was shown to be both a potent and specific activator of purified cAMP-PK and of cAMP-PK in platelet membranes, whereas 8-pCPT-cAMP proved to be a potent activator of cAMP-PK and cyclic-GMP-dependent protein kinase (cGMP-PK) both as purified enzymes and in platelet membranes. Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS was not significantly hydrolysed by three types of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, whereas 8-pCPT-cAMP (and 8-bromo-cAMP) was hydrolysed to a significant extent by the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase and by the cGMP-inhibited phosphodiesterase. The apparent lipophilicity, a measure of potential cell-membrane permeability, of Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS was higher than that of 8-pCPT-cAMP. Extracellular application of Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS to intact human platelets reproduced the pattern of protein phosphorylation induced by prostaglandin E1, a cAMP-increasing inhibitor of platelet activation. In intact platelets, Sp-5,6- DCl-cBiMPS was also more effective than 8-pCPT-cAMP in inducing quantitative phosphorylation of the 46/50 kDa vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), a major substrate of cAMP-PK in platelets. As observed with prostaglandin E1, pretreatment of human platelets with Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS prevented the aggregation induced by thrombin. The results suggest that Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS is a very potent and specific activator of cAMP-PK in cell extracts and intact cells and, in this respect, is superior to any other cAMP analogue used for intact-cell studies. In contrast with 8-pCPT-cAMP, Sp-5,6-DCl-cBiMPS can be used to distinguish the signal-transduction pathways mediated by cAMP-PK and cGMP-PK.
Project description:Cyclic AMP analogs containing hydrophobic modification of C(8) at the adenine ring such as 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP (8-pCPT-cAMP) and 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-cAMP (8-pCPT-2'-O-methyl-cAMP) can penetrate membranes due to their high lipophilicity and directly activate intracellular cAMP effectors. Therefore, these cAMP analogs have been used in numerous studies, assuming that their effects reflect the consequences of direct activation of cAMP effectors. The present study provides evidence that 8-pCPT-modified cAMP analogs and their corresponding putative hydrolysis products (8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-adenosine (8-pCPT-ado) and 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-adenosine (8-pCPT-2'-O-methyl-ado)) inhibit the equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1). In PC12 cells, in which nucleoside transport strongly depended on ENT1, 8-pCPT-ado, 8-pCPT-2'-O-methyl-ado, and, to a smaller extent, 8-pCPT-2'-O-methyl-cAMP caused an increase of protein kinase A substrate motif phosphorylation and anti-apoptotic effect by an A(2A) adenosine receptor (A(2A)R)-dependent mechanism. In contrast, the effects of 8-pCPT-cAMP were mainly A(2A)R-independent. In HEK 293 showing little endogenous ENT1-dependent nucleoside transport, transfection of ENT1 conferred A(2A)R-dependent increase in protein kinase A substrate motif phosphorylation. Together, the data of the present study indicate that inhibition of ENT1 and activation of adenosine receptors have to be considered when interpreting the effects of 8-pCPT-substituted cAMP/adenosine analogs.
Project description:The identification of 2'-O-methyl substituted adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) analogs that activate the Epac family of cAMP-regulated guanine nucleotide exchange factors (cAMP-GEFs, also known as Epac1 and Epac2), has ushered in a new era of cyclic nucleotide research in which previously unrecognized signalling properties of the second messenger cAMP have been revealed. These Epac-Selective Cyclic AMP Analogs (ESCAs) incorporate a 2'-O-methyl substitution on the ribose ring of cAMP, a modification that impairs their ability to activate protein kinase A (PKA), while leaving intact their ability to activate Epac (the Exchange Protein directly Activated by Cyclic AMP). One such ESCA in wide-spread use is 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP. It is a cell-permeant derivative of 2'-O-Me-cAMP, and it is a super activator of Epac. A wealth of newly published studies demonstrate that 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP is a unique tool with which to asses atypical actions of cAMP that are PKA-independent. Particularly intriguing are recent reports demonstrating that ESCAs reproduce the PKA-independent actions of ligands known to stimulate Class I (Family A) and Class II (Family B) GTP-binding protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). This topical review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding the molecular pharmacology and signal transduction properties of Epac-selective cAMP analogs. Special attention is focused on the rational drug design of ESCAs in order to improve their Epac selectivity, membrane permeability, and stability. Also emphasized is the usefulness of ESCAs as new tools with which to assess the role of Epac as a determinant of intracellular Ca2+ signalling, ion channel function, neurotransmitter release, and hormone secretion.
Project description:With the identification of novel cAMP binding effector molecules in Trypanosoma, the role of cAMP in kinetoplastida parasites gained an intriguing breakthrough. Despite earlier demonstrations of the role of cAMP in the survival of Leishmania during macrophage infection, there is essential need to specifically clarify the involvement of cAMP in various cellular processes in the parasite. In this context, we sought to gain a comprehensive understanding of the effect of cAMP analogs and cAMP-cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors on proliferation of log phase parasites. Administration of both hydrolyzable (8-pCPT-cAMP) and nonhydrolyzable analogs (Sp-8-pCPT-cAMPS) of cAMP resulted in a significant decrease of Leishmania proliferation. Among the various PDE inhibitors, etazolate was found to be potently antiproliferative. BrdU cell proliferation and K/N/F-enumeration microscopic study revealed that both cAMP analogs and selective PDE inhibitors resulted in significant cell cycle arrest at G1 phase with reduced S-phase population. Furthermore, careful examination of the ?agellar motility patterns revealed significantly reduced coordinated forward flagellar movement of the promastigotes with a concomitant decrease in cellular ATP levels. Alongside, 8-pCPT-cAMP and PDE inhibitors etazolate and trequinsin showed marked reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential. Treatment of etazolate at subcytotoxic concentration to infected macrophages significantly reduced parasite burden, and administration of etazolate to Leishmania-infected BALB/c mice showed reduced liver and spleen parasite burden. Collectively, these results imply involvement of cAMP in various crucial processes paving the avenue for developing potent antileishmanial agent.
Project description:To ascertain the identities of cyclic nucleotide-binding proteins that mediate the insulin secretagogue action of cAMP, the possible contributions of the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) and protein kinase A (PKA) were evaluated in a pancreatic beta cell line (rat INS-1 cells). Assays of Rap1 activation, CREB phosphorylation, and PKA-dependent gene expression were performed in combination with live cell imaging and high throughput screening of a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based cAMP sensor (Epac1-camps) to validate the selectivity with which acetoxymethyl esters (AM-esters) of cAMP analogs preferentially activate Epac or PKA. Selective activation of Epac or PKA was achieved following exposure of INS-1 cells to 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP-AM or Bt(2)cAMP-AM, respectively. Both cAMP analogs exerted dose-dependent and glucose metabolism-dependent actions to stimulate insulin secretion, and when each was co-administered with the other, a supra-additive effect was observed. Because 2.4-fold more insulin was secreted in response to a saturating concentration (10 microm) of Bt(2)cAMP-AM as compared with 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP-AM, and because the action of Bt(2)cAMP-AM but not 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP-AM was nearly abrogated by treatment with 3 microm of the PKA inhibitor H-89, it is concluded that for INS-1 cells, it is PKA that acts as the dominant cAMP-binding protein in support of insulin secretion. Unexpectedly, 10-100 microm of the non-AM-ester of 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP failed to stimulate insulin secretion and was a weak activator of Rap1 in INS-1 cells. Moreover, 10 microm of the AM-ester of 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP stimulated insulin secretion from mouse islets, whereas the non-AM-ester did not. Thus, the membrane permeability of 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP in insulin-secreting cells is so low as to limit its biological activity. It is concluded that prior reports documenting the failure of 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP to act in beta cells, or other cell types, need to be re-evaluated through the use of the AM-ester of this cAMP analog.
Project description:It has long been known that cyclic nucleotides and cyclic nucleotide-dependent signaling molecules control cell migration. However, the concept that it is not just the absence or presence of cyclic nucleotides, but a highly coordinated balance between these molecules that regulates cell migration, is new and revolutionary. In this study, we used multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4)-expressing cell lines and MRP4 knock-out mice as model systems and wound healing assays as the experimental system to explore this unique and emerging concept. MRP4, a member of a large family of ATP binding cassette transporter proteins, localizes to the plasma membrane and functions as a nucleotide efflux transporter and thus plays a role in the regulation of intracellular cyclic nucleotide levels. Here, we demonstrate that mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) isolated from Mrp4(-/-) mice have higher intracellular cyclic nucleotide levels and migrate faster compared with MEFs from Mrp4(+/+) mice. Using FRET-based cAMP and cGMP sensors, we show that inhibition of MRP4 with MK571 increases both cAMP and cGMP levels, which results in increased migration. In contrast to these moderate increases in cAMP and cGMP levels seen in the absence of MRP4, a robust increase in cAMP levels was observed following treatment with forskolin and isobutylmethylxanthine, which decreases fibroblast migration. In response to externally added cell-permeant cyclic nucleotides (cpt-cAMP and cpt-cGMP), MEF migration appears to be biphasic. Altogether, our studies provide the first experimental evidence supporting the novel concept that balance between cyclic nucleotides is critical for cell migration.
Project description:The Dictyostelium discoideum genome uncovers seven cyclic nucleotide PDEs (phosphodiesterases), of which six have been characterized previously and the seventh is characterized in the present paper. Three enzymes belong to the ubiquitous class I PDEs, common in all eukaryotes, whereas four enzymes belong to the rare class II PDEs that are present in bacteria and lower eukaryotes. Since all D. discoideum PDEs are now characterized we have calculated the contribution of each enzyme in the degradation of the three important pools of cyclic nucleotides: (i) extracellular cAMP that induces chemotaxis during aggregation and differentiation in slugs; (ii) intracellular cAMP that mediates development; and (iii) intracellular cGMP that mediates chemotaxis. It appears that each cyclic nucleotide pool is degraded by a combination of enzymes that have different affinities, allowing a broad range of substrate concentrations to be degraded with first-order kinetics. Extracellular cAMP is degraded predominantly by the class II high-affinity enzyme DdPDE1 and its close homologue DdPDE7, and in the multicellular stage also by the low-affinity transmembrane class I enzyme DdPDE4. Intracellular cAMP is degraded by the DdPDE2, a class I enzyme regulated by histidine kinase/phospho-relay, and by the cAMP-/cGMP-stimulated class II DdPDE6. Finally, basal intracellular cGMP is degraded predominantly by the high-affinity class I DdPDE3, while the elevated cGMP levels that arise after receptor stimulation are degraded predominantly by a cGMP-stimulated cGMP-specific class II DdPDE5. The analysis shows that the combination of enzymes is tuned to keep the concentration and lifetime of the substrate within a functional range.
Project description:As one of the main receptors of a second messenger, cGMP, cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) isoforms I and II regulate distinct physiological processes. The design of isoform-specific activators is thus of great biomedical importance and requires detailed structural information about PKG isoforms bound with activators, including accurate positions of hydrogen atoms and a description of the hydrogen bonding and water architecture. Here, we determined a 2.2 Å room-temperature joint X-ray/neutron (XN) structure of the human PKG II carboxyl cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB-B) domain bound with a potent PKG II activator, 8-pCPT-cGMP. The XN structure directly visualizes intermolecular interactions and reveals changes in hydrogen bonding patterns upon comparison to the X-ray structure determined at cryo-temperatures. Comparative analysis of the backbone hydrogen/deuterium exchange patterns in PKG II:8-pCPT-cGMP and previously reported PKG I?:cGMP XN structures suggests that the ability of these agonists to activate PKG is related to how effectively they quench dynamics of the cyclic nucleotide binding pocket and the surrounding regions.