We undertook studies to determine whether secretagogue action on the exocrine pancreas and parotid is accompanied by phosphorylation of proteins in intact cells. For this purpose, rat pancreatic, and parotid lobules were preincubated with 32Pi for 45 min at 37 degrees C, washed, and then incubated at 37 degrees C in the presence or absence of secretagogues that effect discharge through different second messengers. Among a variety of polypeptides exhibiting enhanced phosphorylation in pancreatic lobules upon a 30-s incubation in the presence of the secretagogues carbamylcholine, cholecystokinin octapeptide, or secretin, one species with an Mr of 29,000 was especially notable for three reasons: (a) its enhanced level of phosphorylation was dependent on the dose of secretagogue used and was still apparent after incubation for 30 min at 37 degrees C; (b) an analogous phosphorylated polypeptide was observed in isoproterenol-stimulated parotid lobules; and (c) in both tissues its selective dephosphorylation was observed upon termination of stimulation by administration of atropine to carbamylcholine-stimulated pancreatic lobules and propranolol to isoproterenol-stimulated parotid lobules. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of one protein with an Mr of 29,000 is closely correlated both temporally and in a dose-dependent fashion with secretagogue action in both the exocrine pancreas and parotid.

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