Soluble adenylyl cyclase-mediated cAMP signaling and the putative role of PKA and EPAC in cerebral mitochondrial function

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Mitochondria produce the bulk of the ATP in most cells, including brain cells. Regulating this complex machinery to match the energetic needs of the cell is a complicated process that we have yet to understand in its entirety. In this context, 3',5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP) has been suggested to play a seminal role in signaling-metabolism coupling and regulation of mitochondrial ATP production. In cells, cAMP signals may affect mitochondria from the cytosolic side but more recently, a cAMP signal produced within the matrix of mitochondria by soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) has been suggested to regulate respiration and thus ATP production. However, little is known about these processes in brain mitochondria, and the effectors of the cAMP signal generated within the matrix are not completely clear since both protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein activated by cAMP 1 (EPAC1) have been suggested to be involved. Here, we review the current knowledge and relate it to brain mitochondria. Further, based on measurements of respiration, membrane potential, and ATP production in isolated mouse brain cortical mitochondria we show that inhibitors of sAC, PKA, or EPAC affect mitochondrial function in distinct ways. In conclusion, we suggest that brain mitochondria do regulate their function via sAC-mediated cAMP signals and that both PKA and EPAC could be involved downstream of sAC. Finally, due to the role of faulty mitochondrial function in a range of neurological diseases, we expect that the function of sAC-cAMP-PKA/EPAC signaling in brain mitochondria will likely attract further attention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1018-1038
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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