Selective stimulation of a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE4A5) isoform by phosphatidic acid molecular species endogenously formed in rat thymocytes

Samer El Bawab, Olga Macovschi, Claudio Sette, Marco Conti, Michel Lagarde, Georges Nemoz, Annie France Prigent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have previously reported that concanavalin A (ConA) stimulation of rat thymocytes induces an increase in the cellular phosphatidic acid mass as well as a change in its fatty acid composition. An increase in phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity, mostly due to cAMP-specific (PDE4) isoforms, has also been observed in thymocytes stimulated by ConA. Furthermore, phosphatidic acid was able to stimulate PDE4 activity in vitro. In the present study, cAMP levels have been shown to decrease upon ConA stimulation of thymocytes. Decreasing phosphatidic acid level using diacylglycerol kinase inhibitors induced a parallel decrease of the ConA-stimulated cAMP-specific PDE activity in these cells. Analyses of phosphatidic acid molecular species in cells stimulated for 5 min by ConA revealed a significant increase in 1-stearoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate and a relative decrease in the other molecular species of phosphatidic acid, mainly species containing palmitate. On the other hand, phosphatidic acid extracted from ConA-stimulated cells activated more efficiently the recombinant PDE4A5 isoform in vitro, as compared to phosphatidic acid extracted from unstimulated cells. In addition, phosphatidic acid species containing unsaturated fatty acids were stimulatory, while those containing two saturated fatty acids had only a marginal effect on the enzyme activity. Taken together, these data suggest that the mitogenic stimulation of thymocytes is accompanied by the synthesis of peculiar phosphatidic acid molecular species able to activate a PDE4 isoform. This activation might be of physiological relevance since cAMP is a major negative effector of the mitogenic response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1157
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • cAMP
  • Molecular species
  • Phosphatidic acid
  • Recombinant phosphodiesterase
  • Thymocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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