In GH12C1 rat pituitary cells treated with 5-azacytidine, the stimulatory effects exerted by vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), the GTP analogue guanyl-5′-yl imidodiphosphate (Gpp(NH)p), 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate, cholera toxin and pertussis toxin on the membrane-bound adenylyl cyclase were almost completely abolished. The corresponding inhibitory effect of somatostatin was increased. Alterations in adenylyl cyclase responsiveness began at the end of the drug treatment, and were most pronounced on day 5 after removal of 5-azacytidine. The cells subsequently and completely recovered after 10 days in the absence of the drug. Measurements of cholera toxin- and VIP-enhanced cyclic AMP levels in intact cells confirmed these results, and VIP appeared to have no stimulatory effect on GH secretion after 5-azacytidine treatment. Down-regulation of Gαs RNA also occurred on day 5 after cessation of drug treatment. ADP-ribosylation subsequent to stimulation with pertussis toxin was markedly increased, indicating an enhancement of Gαi and/or GGαo. Furthermore, both basal and Gpp(NH)p-stimulated phospholipase C activities were augmented by pre-exposure to 5-azacytidine.
Treatment of GH12C1 rat pituitary tumour cells with 5-azacytidine therefore causes a marked but temporary increase in the ratio of Gαi/Gαs protein levels.