Agonist properties of a stable hexapeptide analog of neurotensin, NαMeArg-Lys-Pro-Trp-tLeu-Leu (NT1)

Hyacinth C. Akunne, Steven B. Demattos, Steven Z. Whetzel, David J. Wustrow, Duff M. Davis, Lawrence D. Wise, Wayne L. Cody, Thomas A. Pugsley, Thomas G. Heffner

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20 Scopus citations


The major signal transduction pathway for neurotensin (NT) receptors is the G-protein-dependent stimulation of phospholipase C, leading to the mobilization of intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and the stimulation of cyclic GMP. We investigated the functional actions of an analog of NT(8-13), NαMeArg-Lys-Pro-Trp-tLeu-Leu (NT1), and other NT related analogs by quantitative measurement of the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration in HT-29 (human colonic adenocarcinoma) cells using the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2/AM and by effects on cyclic GMP levels in rat cerebellar slices. The NT receptor binding affinities for these analogs to HT-29 cell membranes and newborn (10-day-old) mouse brain membranes were also investigated. Data obtained from HT-29 cell and mouse brain membrane preparations showed saturable single high-affinity sites and binding densities (Bmax) of 130.2 and 87.5 fmol/mg protein, respectively. The respective KD values were 0.47 and 0.39 nM, and the Hill coefficients were 0.99 and 0.92. The low-affinity levocabastine-sensitive site was not present (KI > 10,000) in either membrane preparation. Although the correlation of binding betwen HT-29 cell membranes and mouse brain membranes was quite significant (r = 0.92), some of the reference agents had lower binding affinities in the HT-29 cell membranes. The metabolically stable compound NT1 plus other NT analogs and related peptides [NT, NT(8-13), xenopsin, neuromedin N, NT(9-13), kinetensin and (d-Trp11)-NT] increased intracellular Ca2+ levels in HT-29 cells, indicating NT receptor agonist properties. The effect of NT1 in mobilizing [Ca2+]i blocked by SR 48692, a non-peptide NT antagonist. Receptor binding affinities of NT analogs to HT-29 cell membranes were positively correlated with potencies for mobilizing intracellular calcium in the same cells. In addition, NT1 increased cyclic GMP levels in rat cerebellar slices, confirming the latter findings of its NT agonist action. These results substantiate the in vitro NT agonist properties of the hexapeptide NT analog NT1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1154
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 18 1995


  • agonist
  • cyclic GMP
  • intracellular calcium
  • neurotensin
  • peptide
  • receptor binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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