monensin, nigericin and lysosomal pH

Harri Hassinen hhassine at
Wed Mar 7 12:54:35 EST 2001

On 7 Mar 2001, Wolfgang Schechinger wrote:

> Hi all, 
> I noticed that monensin and nigericin are used to control 
> intracellular pH. 
> since nigericin forms a a kind of proton channel and makes sense to 
> me, I don't understand the way monensin is acting since it allows 
> sodium ions to pass. 
> Any clues?

If I recall correctly, both belong to the "new" group of antibiotic
polypeptides that slip into the membrane, forming open
ion-channels or pores in groups into it, thus allowing ions to pass
through and killing or a least maiming the "victim". 

At least some of these polypeptide antibiotics have been first isolated
from tropic insects.

This is my recall and I am very happy if someone can verify my opinion... 

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