Regulation of lateral mobility and cellular trafficking of the CCK receptor by a partial agonist

Belinda F. Roettger, Delia I. Pinon, Thomas P. Burghardt, Laurence J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Partial agonists are effective tools for advancing development of highly selective drugs and providing insights into molecular regulation of cellular functions. Here, we explore the impact of a partial agonist on key aspects of cholecystokinin (CCK) receptor regulation, its lateral mobility and cellular trafficking, in native pancreatic acinar cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing CCK receptor (CHO-CCKR). We developed and characterized a novel fluorescent partial agonist, rhodamine-Gly-[(Nle28,31)CCK-26- 32]phenethyl ester, that binds specifically and with high affinity to CCK receptors. Such analogs are fully efficacious pancreatic acinar cell secretagogues without supramaximal inhibition that mobilize intracellular calcium with little or no increase in phospholipase C (PLC) activity. Despite minimal phosphorylation of CCK receptors in response to this partial agonist, receptor trafficking was the same as that observed with full agonist (CCK). This included normal internalization via clathrin-dependent endocytosis in CHO-CCKR cells and insulation on the surface of pancreatic acinar cells. Also, as with CCK-occupied receptor, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching of partial agonist-occupied receptor on the acinar cell surface demonstrated a marked temperature-dependent slowing of its rate of diffusion. This was similarly associated with resistance to acid-induced dissociation of ligand. Thus some key molecular regulatory mechanisms for CCK receptor internalization and insulation may be initiated by cellular signaling cascades that are not dependent on PLC activation or receptor phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C539-C547
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 45-3
StatePublished - 1999


  • G protein-coupled receptor
  • Receptor internalization
  • Receptor mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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