At least nine closely related isoforms of adenylyl cyclases (ACs), the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of cyclic AMP (cAMP) from ATP, have been cloned and characterized in mammals. Depending on the properties and the relative levels of the isoforms expressed in a tissue or a cell type at a specific time, extracellular signals received through the G-protein-coupled receptors can be differentially integrated. The present review deals with various aspects of such regulations, emphasizing the role of calcium/calmodulin in activating AC1 and AC8 in the central nervous system, the potential inhibitory effect of calcium on AC5 and AC6, and the changes in the expression pattern of the isoforms during development. A particular emphasis is given to the role of cAMP during drug and ethanol dependency and to some experimental limitations (pitfalls in the interpretation of cellular transfection, scarcity of the invalidation models, existence of complex macromolecular structures, etc).


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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