The amphibian tetradecapeptide, bombesin, and structurally related peptides caused a marked increase in ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake (a measure of Na+/K+ pump activity) in quiescent Swiss 3T3 cells. This effect occurred within seconds after the addition of the peptide and appeared to be mediated by an increase in Na+ entry into the cells. The effect of bombesin on Na+ entry and Na+/K+ pump activity was concentration dependent with half-maximal stimulation occurring at 0.3-0.4 nM. The structurally related peptides litorin, gastrin-releasing peptide, and neuromedin B also stimulated ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake; the relative potencies of these peptides in stimulating the Na+/K+ pump were comparable to their potencies in increasing DNA synthesis (Zachary, I., and E. Rozengurt, 1985, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 82:7616-7620). Bombesin increased Na+ influx, at least in part, through an Na+/H+ antiport. The peptide augmented intracellular pH and this effect was abolished in the absence of extracellular Na+. In addition to monovalent ion transport, bombesin and the structurally related peptides rapidly increased the efflux of 45Ca2+ from quiescent Swiss 3T3 cells. This Ca2+ came from an intracellular pool and the efflux was associated with a 50% decrease in total intracellular Ca2+. The peptides also caused a rapid increase in cytosolic free calcium concentration. Prolonged pretreatment of Swiss 3T3 cells with phorbol dibutyrate, which causes a loss of protein kinase C activity (Rodriguez-Pena, A., and E. Rozengurt, 1984, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 120:1053-1059), greatly decreased the stimulation of 86Rb+ uptake and Na+ entry by bombesin implicating this phosphotransferase system in the mediation of part of these responses to bombesin. Since some activation of monovalent ion transport by bombesin was seen in phorbol dibutyrate-pretreated cells, it is likely that the peptide also stimulates monovalent ion transport by a second mechanism.

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