The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Adenylate cyclase

Adenylate cyclase (EC, also known as adenylyl cyclase or AC) is a lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of ATP to 3',5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP) and pyrophosphate. cAMP is an important molecule in eukaryotic signal transduction, a so-called second messenger. The adenylate cyclase is activated by other proteins, such as the G proteins. There are eight known classes of adenylate cyclases known in mammals.


Adenylate cyclase is a transmembrane protein. It passes through the plasma membrane twelve times. The important parts for its function are located in the cytoplasmic N- and C-termini, as well as in the C1 domain, a large loop between transmembrane helices six and seven which also extends into the cytoplasm.

The reaction that Adenylate Cyclase cataylazes is the conversion of ATP to cAMP
The reaction that Adenylate Cyclase cataylazes is the conversion of ATP to cAMP


Adenylate cyclase is stimulated by G proteins, and by forskolin, as well as other class-specific substrates. The classes I, III and VIII are also reculated by Ca2+/calmodulin. In neurons, adenylate cyclases are located next to calcium ion channels for faster reaction to Ca2+ influx; they are suspected of playing an important role in learning processes. This is supported by the fact that adenylate cyclases are coincidence detectors, meaning that they are only activated by several different signals occurring together.

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