Real-time measurement of cAMP fluctuations in the cell is of paramount importance to understand the inner works of the cAMP-dependent signaling pathway. Development of new techniques, relying both on CNG channels and on FRET-based sensors, is leading to the acquisition of detailed information on how cAMP signal propagation occurs in the complexity of the intact cell and is contributing to defining the complex molecular mechanisms that regulate signal transmission in space and time. Being genetically encoded, such sensors can be expressed in trans-genic animals, thus opening the possibility to study cAMP signaling in intact, living organisms.

Acknowledgements This work was supported by grants from Telethon Italy (TCP00089 and GGP05113), the Italian Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation, the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, the HFSPO (RGP0001/2005-C), the Fondation Leducq (O6 CVD 02) and the EC (LSHB-CT-2006-037189).

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