The G-protein-coupled peptide YY (PYY)/neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor (Y1R) subtype is highly expressed in the proliferative zone of human colonic crypt epithelial cells but biochemical and biological support for growth effects have been lacking. Using a model gut epithelial cell system, we have stably expressed the human Y1R in IEC-6 cells and show that the Y1R does couple to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation and cell growth. This pathway uses pertussis-toxin-sensitive G-proteins and βγ subunits, inhibited by co-transfected α-transducin. The Src-family tyrosine kinase inhibitor PP1, as well as specific inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR TK) by PD153035, also blocks PYY stimulation of MAPK. This pathway further requires protein kinase C with EGFR TK inhibition blocking PYY-induced protein kinase Cε (PKCε) translocation to the cell membrane. Finally, we show that PYY stimulates growth in Y1R-expressing gut epithelial cells that is dependent on EGFR TK activity. These results demonstrate a novel pathway involving Gi/Go protein, EGFR and PKC to activate MAPK. Further, they support a role for PYY and the Y1R in regulating growth in human colonic epithelium.

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