A derivative of ATP that is widespread in animal cells as a second messenger in many biochemical reactions induced by hormones. Upon reaching their target cells, the hormones activate adenylate cyclase, the enzyme that catalyses cyclic AMP production. Cyclic AMP ultimately activates the enzymes of the reaction induced by the hormone concerned. Cyclic AMP is also involved in controlling gene expression and cell division, in immune responses, and in nervous transmission.
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