Exploration of the endogenous agonist mechanism for activation of secretin and VPAC1 receptors using synthetic glycosylated peptides

Maoqing Dong, Delia I. Pinon, Laurence J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Current understanding of the molecular basis of activation of class II G protein-coupled receptors remains limited, despite recent solution of NMR and crystal structures of amino-terminal domains of several family members. One mechanism proposed for the activation of these receptors involves an agonist-stimulated change in conformation of the receptor amino terminus. This results in the exposure of a "hidden endogenous agonist" (WDN sequence in secretin and VPAC1 receptors) within the receptor amino terminus that interacts with the receptor core, thereby changing its conformation and exposing its G protein-binding region. The Asn in this WDN sequence is known to be glycosylated in both secretin and VPAC1 receptors, raising concern about whether this posttranslational modification might interfere with the proposed mechanism. Therefore, we prepared glycosylated forms of cyclic WDN and the longer cyclic peptide, LWDNM, and tested them for agonist activity at secretin and VPAC1 receptor-bearing cell lines. Both glycosylated peptides stimulated full cAMP responses in the cell lines. Clearly, glycosylation did not interfere with this mechanism and may actually facilitate the correct orientation of the pharmacophore of the endogenous agonist ligand. These data provide further evidence for this proposed mechanism for the activation of this family of receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-259
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008



  • G protein-coupled receptors
  • Glycosylation
  • Receptor activation
  • Secretin receptor
  • VPAC1 receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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