Forskolin, a naturally occurring activator of adenylate cyclase, inhibits total and high-affinity cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activity in soluble and particulate fractions of cultured LLC-PK1 renal epithelial cells. The naturally occurring forskolin analogue 1,9-dideoxyforskolin, which does not stimulate adenylate cyclase activity, is a more potent inhibitor of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activity than forskolin. To clarify the structural feature of the forskolin molecule responsible for inhibition of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activity, the effects of two agents which share structural identity with portions of the forskolin ring were tested. The steroid 5-pregnenolone, but not the hexose alpha-D-galactose, inhibited cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activity in LLC-PK1 cells. Forskolin and 1,9-dideoxyforskolin both stimulate protein kinase C activity in LLC-PK1 cells. The effect of 1,9-dideoxyforskolin in stimulating LLC-PK1 protein kinase C activity can be attenuated by staurosporine. Both 5-pregnenolone and alpha-D-galactose also stimulate protein kinase C activity in LLC-PK1 cells. 5-Pregnenolone and the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate cause translocation of protein kinase C from a soluble to a particulate fraction, while both 1,9-dideoxyforskolin and alpha-D-galactose increase protein kinase C activity in both soluble and particulate fractions. Our results demonstrate that forskolin exerts diverse enzymic effects in cultured LLC-PK1 cells.

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