It has been reported that substitution of the Met31 residue in Boc-CCK4 (Boc-Trp30-Met31-Asp32-Phe33-NH2, CCK33 numbering) by trans-3-propyl-L-proline yields a highly potent and selective CCK-B agonist. To further explore the structural requirements of the Met31 side chain in the receptor-bound conformation of CCK4, we have synthesized several Ac-CCK4 analogs containing substitution of Met31 by 3- and 4-(alkylthio)-substituted proline derivatives. To this end we have developed novel synthetic routes to enantiomerically pure N-Boc-4-cis- and -trans-(methylthio)prolines and racemic N-Boc-3-cis and -trans-[(4-methylbenzyl)thio]prolines. The protected mercaptoprolines were incorporated into Ac-CCK4 analogs using SPPS and were alkylated using various electrophiles following cleavage from the solid support. Binding assays reveal that 3-(alkylthio)prolines analogs have higher affinities at the CCK-B receptor than the corresponding 4-(alkylthio)proline analogs, and that trans-3-(alkylthio)proline analogs had higher affinities than corresponding cis-3-(alkylthio)proline analogs. Within both the cis- and trans-3-(alkylthio)proline series, the order of potency was found to be Me < Et < n-Pr. The trans-3-(n-propylthio)-L-proline analog demonstrates a higher affinity than that reported for Boc-CCK4[trans-3-propyl-L-Pro31]. Comparison of the low-energy structures calculated for several high-affinity Ac-CCK4 analogs reveal a common geometry which we propose to be the CCK-B receptor-bound conformation. This model shows grouping of the hydrophobic side chains of Trp, Met, and Phe at one side of the molecule and the hydrophilic side chain of Asp and the C-terminal carboxamide at the other side.