Cyclic adenosine monophosphate, otherwise also known as cyclic AMP, acts as a messenger for many of the vital biological processes in the body. The chemical name of the compound is 3-5-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and it is derived from the compound adenosine triphosphate, which is the form in which energy is stored in the body. ATP is also used for intracellular transduction of signals and the pathways of these signals are dependent on the cyclic AMP.
Adenylyl cyclase helps the synthesis of cyclic AMP from ATP. Adenylyl cyclase is an enzyme which is located in all the cell membranes. The enzyme is activated through receptors that are coupled with the adenylyl cyclase stimulatory G protein. The enzyme is inhibited by agonists of the receptors. Adenylyl cyclase in the liver responds very strongly to glucagons. The adenylyl cyclase in muscles responds very strongly to adrenaline.
The effects of hormones like glucagons and adrenaline are regulated by the cyclic AMP which acts as a second messenger. Cyclic AMP is also involved in the activation of the enzyme protein kinases. The passage of calcium ions is also regulated by the Cyclic AMP.
Cyclic AMP is also associated with the functioning of several biochemical reactions in the body, especially in the digestion of proteins. The cyclic AMP pathway is related to the activation of the protein kinases. As the cyclic AMP provides a pathway to calcium, it also simultaneously allows the production of some important growth hormones.
Cyclic AMP may decompose into AMP. This reaction is catalyzed by an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase. The cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases are a group of enzymes which degrade the cyclic AMP. They degrade the phosphodiester bonds in these cyclic compounds, causing the cyclic AMP to break down into AMP. The cyclic AMP phosphodiesterases relationship is an extremely devastating one and can cause malabsorption of proteins and calcium along with irregular secretion of growth hormones.
The cyclic AMP urine test is conducted when the patient has symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. Since the cAMP is responsible for growth hormones, there may be a problem when the growth hormones are not synthesized due to break down of AMP.
The test simply checks for hyperparathyroidism. The urine is tested for traces of cAMP. Usually, cAMP is not secreted into the urine. However, if the compound is present in the urine and in subsequent tests, there is an increase in this amount; the person is diagnosed to be suffering from hyperparathyroidism. Other tests may be run to confirm this since an increased amount of cAMP is also present in the urine if the person is suffering from humoral hypercalcemia due to malignant tumors. In case of vitamin D deficiency too, cAMP in the urine may increase.