Résumé : (1) The kinetic parameters of rat pancreatic adenylate cyclase were evaluated, using GTP, p[NH]ppG or GTP gamma S as nucleotide activator, cholecystokinin as peptide hormone, and GDP beta S and dibutyryl cyclic GMP as inhibitors of guanosine triphosphate and CCK-8, respectively. The time courses of activation and the degree of activation at steady state (EA/ETOT) were compatible with a simple two-state model of activation-deactivation based on a pseudo-monomolecular activation process (rate constant kappa+1), and a deactivation process (rate constant kappa off) that included, depending on the activating nucleotide, the hydrolysis of GTP (rate constant kappa 2) and/or the dissociation of the intact nucleotide (rate constant kappa-1), so that EA/ETOT = kappa+1/(kappa+1 + kappa 2 + kappa-1). (2) The hormone CCK-8 increased the value of kappa+1 with GTP dose-dependently, from 0.2 to 10.9 min-1. The value of kappa-1 increased 0.01 to 0.3 min-1 but the value of kappa 2 was unaltered at 7 min-1, so that EA/ETOT increased 15-fold, from 4% to 61%. (3) A cholera toxin pretreatment at 30 micrograms/ml allowed also a large increase in EA/ETOT with GTP (up to 51%) but the underlying mechanism was different. It consisted of a 14-fold decrease in the kappa off value of the GTP-activated enzyme (from 7 min-1 to 0.5 min-1) that corresponded to a reduction in GTPase activity. When testing the system with p[NH]ppG, two added effects of the cholera toxin pretreatment were observed: a 4-fold increase in the value of kappa+1 (from 0.2 to 0.8 min-1) and the occurrence of a significant 0.3 min-1 value for kappa-1.