The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) family, and PDE4 subfamily. This PDE hydrolyzes the secondary messenger, cAMP, which is a regulator and mediator of a number of cellular responses to extracellular signals. Thus, by regulating the cellular concentration of cAMP, this protein plays a key role in many important physiological processes. Recently, it has been shown through the use of PDE4A knock out mice that PDE4A may play a role in the regulation of anxiety and emotional memory.
PDE4A is a target of a number of drugs including:
rolipram (antidepressant and antiinflammatory) and cilomilast (antiinflammatory) – inhibits PDE4A isoforms 1, 2, 6, and 7
roflumilast (antiinflammatory) – inhibits PDE4A isoforms 1, 2, and 6
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Pryzwansky KB, Madden VJ (Jun 2003). "Type 4A cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase is stored in granules of human neutrophils and eosinophils". Cell and Tissue Research. 312 (3): 301–11. doi:10.1007/s00441-003-0728-y. PMID12764607.