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The determinants of “basal” activity of signaling pathways regulating cellular responses are poorly defined. One possibility is that cells release factors to establish the set-point of such pathways. Here we show that treatment of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells with the nucleotidase apyrase decreases basal arachidonic acid release and cAMP production 30–40% and that inhibitors of P2Y receptor action also affect basal and forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation. Changing medium prominently increases extracellular levels of ATP in Madin-Darby canine kidney, COS-7, and HEK-293 cells. Mechanical stimulation of ATP release likely occurs in virtually every experimental protocol with cultured cells, implicating such release and P2Y receptor activation as critical in establishing the set-point for signal transduction pathways.


This article was originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry, volume 275, issue 16, in 2000. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.275.16.11735


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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