CEACAM1-4S (carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule 1, with 4 ectodomains and a short, 12-14 amino acid cytoplasmic domain) mediates lumen formation via an apoptotic and cytoskeletal reorganization mechanism when mammary epithelial cells are grown in a three-dimensional model of mammary morphogenesis. We show by quantitative yeast two-hybrid, BIAcore, NMR HSQC and STD, and confocal analyses that amino acids phenylalanine (Phe(454)) and lysine (Lys(456)) are key residues that interact with actin orchestrating the cytoskeletal reorganization. A CEACAM1 membrane model based on vitamin D-binding protein that predicts an interaction of Phe(454) at subdomain 3 of actin was supported by inhibition of binding of actin to vitamin D-binding protein by the cytoplasmic domain peptide. We also show that residues Thr(457) and/or Ser(459) are phosphorylated in CEACAM1-transfected cells grown in three-dimensional culture and that mutation analysis of these residues (T457A/S459A) or F454A blocks lumen formation. These studies demonstrate that a short cytoplasmic domain membrane receptor can directly mediate substantial intracellular signaling.