ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) have crucial roles in vesicular trafficking. Brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange proteins (BIG)1 and BIG2 catalyze the activation of class I ARFs by accelerating replacement of bound GDP with GTP. Several additional and differing actions of BIG1 and BIG2 have been described. These include the presence in BIG2 of 3 A kinase-anchoring protein (AKAP) domains, one of which is identical in BIG1. Proteins that contain AKAP sequences act as scaffolds for the assembly of PKA with other enzymes, substrates, and regulators in complexes that constitute molecular machines for the reception, transduction, and integration of signals from cAMP or other sources, which are initiated, propagated, and transmitted by chemical, electrical, or mechanical means. Specific depletion of HeLa cell PDE3A with small interfering RNA significantly decreased membrane-associated BIG1 and BIG2, which by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy were widely dispersed from an initial perinuclear Golgi concentration. Concurrently, activated ARF1-GTP was significantly decreased. Selective inhibition of PDE3A by 1-h incubation of cells with cilostamide similarly decreased membrane-associated BIG1. We suggest that decreasing PDE3A allowed cAMP to accumulate in microdomains where its enzymatic activity limited cAMP concentration. There, cAMP-activated PKA phosphorylated BIG1 and BIG2 (AKAPs for assembly of PKA, PDE3A, and other molecules), which decreased their GEP activity and thereby amounts of activated ARF1-GTP. Thus, PDE3A in these BIG1 and BIG2 AKAP complexes may contribute to the regulation of ARF function via limitation of cAMP effects with spatial and temporal specificity
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