Actin depolymerization via the β-adrenoceptor in airway smooth muscle cells: A novel PKA-independent pathway

Carol A. Hirshman, Defen Zhu, Reynold A. Panettieri, Charles W. Emala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Actin is a major functional and structural cytoskeletal protein that mediates such diverse processes as motility, cytokinesis, contraction, and control of cell shape and polarity. While many extracellular signals are known to mediate actin filament polymerization, considerably less is known about signals that mediate depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton. Human airway smooth muscle cells were briefly exposed to isoproterenol, forskolin, or the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) agonist stimulatory diastereoisomer of adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (Sp-cAMPS). Actin polymerization was measured by concomitant staining of filamentous actin with FITC-phalloidin and globular actin with Texas red DNase I. Isoproterenol, forskolin, or Sp-cAMPS induced actin depolymerization, indicated by a decrease in the intensity of filamentous/globular fluorescent staining. The PKA inhibitor Rp diastereomer of adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphothioate (Rp-cAMPS) completely inhibited forskolin-stimulated depolymerization, whereas it only partially inhibited isoproterenol-induced depolymerization. The protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors genistein or tyrphostin A23 also partially inhibited isoproterenol-induced actin depolymerization. In contrast, the combination of Rp-cAMPS and either tyrosine kinase inhibitor had an additive effect at inhibiting isoproterenol-induced actin depolymerization. These results suggest that both PKA-dependent and -independent pathways mediate actin depolymerization in human airway smooth muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1468-C1476
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 50-5
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


  • Protein kinase A

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