The conversion of a signal of inorganic ion concentration to a second messenger is of fundamental biologic significance. The soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) serves such a purpose by transducing divalent cation concentrations and bicarbonate concentrations into intracellular cyclic AMP levels. sAC is widely expressed and may represent a generic bicarbonate sensor providing the afferent pathway to bicarbonate-regulated biologic processes. The best described action of sAC to date is in the mediation of bicarbonate-induced changes in sperm motility. Since a number of processes in mineral metabolism - such as bone formation, bone resorption, intestinal calcium absorption, and renal calcium transport in the distal convoluted tubule - are regulated by bicarbonate, sAC may play a role at multiple levels in mineral metabolism.