Purdue University Graduate School
Doyle Dissertation Final (1).pdf (2.89 MB)

Characterization of calcium regulated adenylyl cyclases

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posted on 2019-01-16, 21:02 authored by Trevor B. DoyleTrevor B. Doyle
Adenylyl cyclases are key points for the concurrent integration of diverse signaling pathways. Controlling production of the second messenger cAMP, adenylyl cyclases provide an important mechanism for the regulation of physiological functions by amplifying signaling events to stimulate downstream effectors. While different isoforms of adenylyl cyclase exhibit distinct patterns of expression and regulation, of particular interest are two groups of Ca2+ regulated isoforms that are highly expressed in the central nervous system. Adenylyl cyclase type 5 (AC5) is a Ca2+ inhibited isoform that is highly expressed in the striatum, and whose activity is involved in the regulation of movement, pain, and metabolism. Adenylyl cyclase type 8 (AC8) is stimulated by Ca2+ in a calmodulin dependent manner, and appears to be involved with long-term memory, anxiety, and reward pathways. Studying the signaling characteristics of these adenylyl cyclase isoforms is necessary for improving our scientific understanding of biological pathways, as well identifying therapeutic targets that can be exploited for treatment of disease. In this work, we investigated changes in the protein interaction network of AC5 following prolonged Gi/o-mediated inhibition that results in heterologous sensitization. The diversity of signaling pathways and multitude of protein interactions that have been implicated in the development of the heterologous sensitization response prompted the development of a novel screening strategy to capture and identify AC5-protein interactions which occur following prolonged Gi/o-mediated inhibition. We utilized bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) in conjunction with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and Next Generation sequencing to capture, identify, and characterize novel AC5 interacting partners. We further studied the effects of increased AC5 activity by functionally characterizing a series of gain-of-function mutations that have been identified in patients diagnosed with Familial Dyskinesia and Facial Myokymia (FDFM). Our results demonstrate that the AC5 mutants exhibit enhanced activity to Gs-mediated stimulation and reduced inhibition by Gi/o-coupled receptors. We further suggest that this dysregulation of AC5 in striatal medium spiny neurons likely results in an imbalance in the direct and indirect striatal signaling pathways that coordinate the initiation and maintenance of movement. Genetic models of AC8 regulation have implicated its activity in signaling pathways that may regulate comorbid long-term anxiety and ethanol consumption. Therefore, we developed and conducted a high-throughput screen and validation paradigm of small molecules for the discovery of AC8 selective inhibitors. The screening effort identified two lead compounds that demonstrate enhanced efficacy and selectivity over AC1 compared to currently available adenylyl cyclase inhibitors.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Val Watts

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Richard van Rijn

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Chang-Deng Hu

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Angeline Lyon