Bradykinin activates adenylate cyclase via a pathway that involves the ‘up-stream’ regulation of phospholipase D (PLD)-catalysed hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine and activation of protein kinase C (PKC) in airway smooth muscle [Stevens, Pyne, Grady and Pyne (1994) Biochem. J. 297, 233-239]. Coincident signal (Gs alpha and PKC) amplification of the cyclic AMP response can be completely attenuated either by diverting PLD-derived phosphatidate or by inhibiting PKC. In this regard, the coincident signal detector type II adenylate cyclase is expressed as a 110/112 kDa polypeptide in these cells. PKC alpha is not involved in the activation of adenylate cyclase, since a B2-receptor antagonist (NPC567, 10 microM) blocked its bradykinin-stimulated translocation to the membrane and was without effect against both bradykinin-stimulated PLD activity and cyclic AMP formation. Cyclic AMP formation can also be activated by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), via a PKC-dependent pathway, although the magnitude of the response is less than that elicited by bradykinin. Nevertheless, these results indicate that multiple receptor types employ PKC to initiate cyclic AMP signals. PDGF (10 ng/ml) elicited the marked sustained activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase-2 (ERK-2), whereas bradykinin (1 microM) provoked only modest transient activation of ERK-2. Deoxyadenosine (0.1 mM), a P-site inhibitor of adenylate cyclase, blocked bradykinin-stimulated cyclic AMP formation and converted the activation of ERK-2 into a sustained response. Thus the PKC-stimulated cyclic AMP response can limit the activation of ERK-2 in response to bradykinin. These studies indicate that the integration of distinct signal pathways by adenylate cyclase can determine the kinetics of ERK activation, an enzyme that appears to be important for mitogenic progression.

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