The molecular events that mediate cholecystokinin (CCK)-stimulated pancreatic secretion are not well defined because of the complex receptor-binding and concentration-response characteristics of this hormone. Functional models of receptor occupancy initiating the cascade leading to secretion have been complicated by the inhibition of secretion effected by supra-maximal concentrations of CCK. Recent report of a CCK analogue that does not exhibit supramaximal inhibition led us to synthesize a similar analogue that could also be radiolabeled for studies of receptor binding and affinity labeling, and for studies of second messenger activity. This probe, D-Tyr-Gly-[(Nle28,31)CCK-26-32]-phenethyl ester, was a fully efficacious secretagogue with no supramaximal inhibition, and, unlike native hormone, bound to a single class of sites present on both acini and membranes. Occupation of this site correlated well with stimulation of secretion. Evidence that this was indeed a CCK-binding site were the abilities of CCK and antagonist L-364,718 to inhibit binding of this analogue. Affinity labeling confirmed the identity of the site mediating secretory stimulation as a M(r) = 85,000-95,000 protein. Whereas the nonhydrolyzable guanosine triphosphate analogue, 5'-guanylyl-imidodiphosphate, was a potent inhibitor of CCK binding, it had no effect on binding of this secretagogue, suggesting that a novel cascade not involving a guanine nucleotide-binding protein mediates CCK stimulation of pancreatic secretion.
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