The past year has witnessed a marked increase in the complexity of intracellular processes involved in the function of a polarized epithelial cell. The pancreatic acinar cell is perhaps the best studied such cell, and the classical model for stimulus-secretion coupling and secretory protein biosynthesis and export. In this review, I examine several new reports that impact on these themes. I include the identification of newly recognized pancreatic secretagogues; insights into the biochemical basis for hormone receptor affinity states and interconversion, desensitization, and internalization; lipid mediators of secretagogue action; patterns and regulators of intracellular calcium events along with their spatial and temporal patterns; regulated channels, transporters, and junctional communication in the acinar cell and cellular organelles; and new insights into regulated exocytosis.
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