Pharmacological PKA Inhibition: All May Not Be What It Seems

Science Signaling  03 Jun 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 22, pp. re4
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.122re4

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Signaling through the cyclic adenosine monophosphate–dependent protein kinase [protein kinase A (PKA)] is an important and widely studied area of signal transduction research. This signaling pathway is commonly investigated through the use of the pharmacological PKA inhibitors H89 and KT 5720. Both of these compounds are thought to block PKA actions through competitive inhibition of the adenosine triphosphate site on the PKA catalytic subunit. Recently, a number of studies have identified actions of H89 and KT 5720 that are independent of their effects on PKA. These nonspecific effects are widespread; they include actions on other protein kinases and signaling molecules and also on basic cellular functions, such as transcription. Here, I summarize the nonspecific effects of these two compounds and compare their actions with those of other PKA inhibitors.

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