- The ATP-dependent calcium transport in plasma membrane vesicles prepared from rat liver was inhibited by 0.1 to 10 microM glucagon. Inhibition of the high affinity (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase was observed concomitantly. This effect was neither mimicked by cyclic AMP nor by dibutyryl cyclic AMP. A study of the structure-activity relationships of six glucagon derivatives demonstrated the specificity of glucagon action since only one or two analogs markedly altered the (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase activity. The study also demonstrated the total absence of correlation between adenylate cyclase activation and (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase inhibition induced by these glucagon derivatives. The decrease in the maximal velocities induced by glucagon of both calcium transport and (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase activity were related to a reduction in the rate of dephosphorylation of the Ca-dependent phosphorylated intermediate of the enzyme. This phosphorylated intermediate was characterized as a 32P-labeled 110,000-dalton protein which accumulated to 50 to 150% over the basal level in the presence of glucagon. The present results demonstrate a novel aspect of the role of glucagon as a calcium-mobilizing agent.