A soluble adenylyl cyclase form targets to axonemes and rescues beat regulation in soluble adenylyl cyclase knockout mice

Xi Chen, Nathalie Baumlin, Jochen Buck, Lonny R. Levin, Nevis Fregien, Matthias Salathe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Ciliary beating is important for effective mucociliary clearance. Soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) regulates ciliary beating, and a roughly 50-kD sAC variant is expressed in axonemes. Normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells express multiple sAC splice variants: full-length sAC; variants with catalytic domain 1 (C1) deletions; and variants with partial C1. One variant, sACex5v2-ex12v2, contains two alternative splices creating new exons 5 (ex5v2) and 12 (ex12v2), encoding a roughly 45-kD protein. It is therefore similar in size to ciliary sAC. The variant increases in expression upon ciliogenesis during differentiation at the air-liquid interface. When expressed in NHBE cells, this variant was targeted to cilia. Exons 5v2-7 were important for ciliary targeting, whereas exons 2-4 prevented it. In vitro, cytoplasmic sACex2-ex12v2 (containing C1 and C2) was the only variant producing cAMP. Ciliary sACex5v2-ex12v2 was not catalytically active. Airway epithelial cells isolated from wild-type mice revealed sAC-dependent ciliary beat frequency (CBF) regulation, analogous to NHBE cells: CBF rescue from HCO3-/CO2-mediated intracellular acidification was sensitive to the sAC inhibitor, KH7. Compared with wild type, sAC C2 knockout (KO) mice revealed lower CBF baseline, and the HCO3-/CO2-mediated CBF decrease was not inhibited by KH7, confirming lack of functional sAC. Human sACex5v2-ex12v2 was targeted to cilia and sACex2-ex12v2 to the cytoplasm in these KO mice. Introduction of the ciliary sACex5v2-ex12v2 variant, but not the cytoplasmic sACex2-ex12v2, restored functional sAC activity in C2 KO mice. Thus, we show, for the first time, a mammalian axonemal targeting sequence that localizes a sAC variant to cilia to regulate CBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-760
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenylyl cyclase
  • Alternative splicing
  • CAMP
  • Cilia
  • Protein targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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