Binding of two long wavelength fluorescent cAMP analogues, 8-thioacetamido-fluorescein-cAMP (SAF-cAMP) and 8-thioacetamido-rhodamine-cAMP (SAR-cAMP), to the RI (from bovine muscle) and RII (from bovine heart) regulatory subunits of cAMP dependent kinases has been studied. Displacement of [3H]cAMP from RI and RII and equilibrium dialysis measurements show that the fluorescent nucleotides are high affinity ligands for the cAMP binding sites. The binding is characterized by complex fluorescence spectral and fluorescence anisotropy changes, more evident for the fluorescein than for the rhodamine derivative. The fluorescence excitation spectrum of the bound SAF-cAMP is characterized by the appearance of a red shifted shoulder at 500-510 nm excitation wavelength region. Any change of the bound/free ratio in a solution equilibrium is accompanied by changes in fluorescence and anisotropy signals which are best detected at suitable wavelengths. It is proposed that fluorescence and anisotropy changes can distinguish between binding to type B (slow dissociating) and A (fast dissociating) cAMP binding sites of regulatory subunits. Applications of the fluorescent nucleotides to kinase localization and cAMP determination in living cells are discussed.
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