The cyclic nucleotide specificity of three cAMP receptors in Dictyostelium

Ronald L. Johnson, Peter J.M. Van Haastert, Alan R. Kimmel, Charles L. Saxe, Bernd Jastorff, Peter N. Devreotes

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71 Scopus citations


cAMP receptors mediate signal transduction pathways during development in Dictyostelium. A cAMP receptor (cAR1) has been cloned and sequenced (Klein, P., Sun, T. J., Saxe, C. L., Kimmel, A. R., Johnson, R. L., and Devreotes, P. N. (1988) Science 241, 1467-1472) and recently several other cAR genes have been identified (Saxe, C. L., Johnson, R., Devreotes, P. N., and Kimmel, A. R. (1991a) Dev. Genet. 12, 6-13; Saxe, C. L., Johnson, R. L., Devreotes, P. N., and Kimmel, A. R. (1991b) Genes Dev. 5, 1-8). We have expressed three receptor subtypes, cAR1, cAR2, and cAR3, in growing cells and have investigated their affinity and pharmacological specificity in a series of [3H]cAMP binding studies. In phosphate buffer, there were two affinity states of about 30 and 300 nM for cAR1 and 20 and 500 nM for cAR3 but no detectable affinity for cAR2. In the presence of 3 M ammonium sulfate, there was one affinity state of 4 nM for cAR1 and 11 nM for cAR2 and two affinity states of approximately 4 and 200 nM for cAR3. The relative affinities of 14 cyclic nucleotide derivatives were tested for each cAR in ammonium sulfate. These studies suggest a model (Van Haastert, P. J. M., and Kien, E. (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 9636-9642) in which cAMP binds to all three receptor subtypes by maintaining hydrogen bond interactions at the N6 and O3′ positions. Interactions at the exocyclic oxygens of cAMP varied between the receptors; cAR2 and cAR3 lacked a stereoselective interaction at the axial oxygen which was present in cAR1. The cleft, which binds the adenine ring of cAMP, was hydrophobic in cAR1 and cAR3 but relatively polar in cAR2. The analog specificity of cAR1 and cAR3 in phosphate buffer was similar to that measured in ammonium sulfate though the derivatives' relative affinity to cAMP was reduced. We conclude that these cAMP receptor subtypes can be distinguished by distinct pharmacological properties which will allow selective activation of each cAR during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4600-4607
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 5 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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