The inhibitors of soluble adenylate cyclase 2-OHE, KH7, and bithionol compromise mitochondrial ATP production by distinct mechanisms

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Abstract

Soluble adenylate cyclase (sAC) is a non-plasma membrane-bound isoform of the adenylate cyclases signaling via the canonical second messenger, 3′,5′-cyclic AMP (cAMP). sAC is involved in key physiological processes such as insulin release, sperm motility, and energy metabolism. Thus, sAC has attracted interest as a putative drug target and attempts have been made to develop selective inhibitors. Since sAC has a binding constant for its substrate, ATP, in the millimolar range, reductions in mitochondrial ATP production may be part of the mechanism-of-action of sAC inhibitors and the potential of these compounds to study the physiological outcomes of inhibition of sAC might be severely hampered by this. Here, we evaluate the effects of two commonly employed inhibitors, 2-OHE and KH7, on mitochondrial ATP production and energy metabolism. For comparison, we included a recently identified inhibitor of sAC, bithionol. Employing mitochondria isolated from mouse brain, we show that all three compounds are able to curb ATP production albeit via distinct mechanisms. Bithionol and KH7 mainly inhibit ATP production by working as a classical uncoupler whereas 2-OHE mainly works by decreasing mitochondrial respiration. These findings were corroborated by investigating energy metabolism in acute brain slices from mice. Since all three sAC inhibitors are shown to curb mitochondrial ATP production and affect energy metabolism, caution should be exercised when employed to study the physiological roles of sAC or for validating sAC as a drug target.

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