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Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

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(biochemistry) A cyclic form of adenosine monophosphate that serves as a second messenger for signal transduction at the cellular level


Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is a 3'-5'-cyclic ester of AMP. It is a second messenger important in many biological processes. cAMP is a derivative of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and used for intracellular signal transduction in many different organisms, conveying the cAMP-dependent pathway. In particular, it is used in transferring into cells the effects of glucagon and adrenaline. These hormones cannot pass through the plasma membrane of target cells and therefore need cAMP as a second messenger. It works by activating protein kinase A (PKA). Apart from the intracellular signal transduction, cAMP is also used for the regulation of the passage of calcium ions through ion channels. It also serves as an extracellular morphogen for some slime moulds. In bacteria, cAMP is involved in the positive regulation of bacterial lac operon in association with the culture medium used for bacterial growth.1

cAMP is produced from ATP catalyzed by adenyl cyclase located at the cell membrane.

Chemical formula: C10H12N5O6P



  • 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate
  • cyclic adenylic acid
  • cyclic phosphate

See also:

1 " Cyclic adenosine monophosphate". Retrieved from [[1]].