A novel mechanism for acetylcholine to generate diacylglycerol in brain

Zhuo Qian, Lester R Drewes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The classical scheme involving inositol phospholipid breakdown by phospholipase C as the sole source of diacylglycerol (DAG) has recently been challenged by evidence that phosphatidylcholine (PC) is an alternative source. In synaptic membranes of canine cerebral cortex, cholinergic agonists caused rapid accumulation of [3H]phosphatidic acid (PA) from [3H]PC within 15 s, whereas [3H]DAG formation showed a transient lag period before becoming elevated and then exceeding the amount of [3H]PA. Additional evidence shows that DAG is produced from PC by the action of phospholipase D to yield PA, which is further dephosphorylated to DAG by PA phosphatase. Our results indicate that this muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-regulated PC phospholipase D-PA phosphatase pathway may be a novel mechanism in cell signal transduction processes for activation of protein kinase C in brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3607-3610
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 5 1990


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