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Title: Cytochalasin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cytochalasin E, Mycotoxins, Xylaria hypoxylon, Beta-Bungarotoxin, Cardiotoxin III
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Cytochalasins are fungal metabolites that have the ability to bind to actin filaments and block polymerization and the elongation of actin. As a result of the inhibition of actin polymerization, cytochalasins can change cellular morphology, inhibit cellular processes such as cell division, and even cause cells to undergo apoptosis.[1] Cytochalasins have the ability to permeate cell membranes, prevent cellular translocation and cause cells to enucleate.[2] Cytochalasins can also have an effect on other aspects of biological processes unrelated to actin polymerization. For example, cytochalasin A and cytochalasin B can also inhibit the transport of monosaccharides across the cell membrane,[2] cytochalasin H has been found to regulate plant growth,[3] cytochalasin D inhibits protein synthesis[4] and cytochalasin E prevents angiogenesis.[5]


  • Binding to actin filaments 1
  • Uses and applications of cytochalasins 2
  • Chemical structures 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Binding to actin filaments

Cytochalasins are known to bind to the barbed, fast growing plus ends of microfilaments, which then blocks both the assembly and disassembly of individual actin monomers from the bound end. Once bound, cytochalasins essentially cap the end of the new actin filament. One cytochalasin will bind to one actin filament.[2] Studies done with cytochalasin D (CD) have found that the formation of CD-actin dimers, contain ATP-bound actin.[6] These CD-actin dimers are reduced to CD-actin monomers as a result of ATP hydrolysis. The resulting CD-actin monomer can bind ATP-actin monomer to reform the CD-actin dimer.[2] CD is very effective; only low concentrations (0.2 μM) are needed to prevent membrane ruffling and disrupt treadmilling.[7] The effects of many different cytochalasins on actin filaments were analyzed and higher concentrations (2-20 μM) of CD were found to be needed to remove stress fibers.[7]

In contrast, latrunculin inhibits actin filament polymerization by binding to actin monomers.

Uses and applications of cytochalasins

Actin microfilaments have been widely studied using cytochalasins. Due to their chemical nature, cytochalasins can help researchers understand the importance of actin in various biological processes. The use of cytochalasins has allowed researchers to better understand actin polymerization, cell motility, ruffling, cell division, contraction, and cell stiffness. The use of cytochalasins has been so important to understanding cytoskeletal movement and many other biological processes, researchers have created two synthetic cytochalasins.[1]

Cytochalasin has found practical application in thromboelastometry (TEM) whole blood assays for the assessment of fibrinogen and fibrin polymerization disorders in the FIBTEM assay on ROTEM. This test is based on the principle that cytochalasin D very effectively inhibits platelet function by inhibition of the contractile elements.[8] The platelet inhibition is more effective than when platelets are blocked by GPIIb/IIIa antagonists.[9] In vitro and clinical data indicate that the clot strength in FIBTEM increases in a fibrinogen concentration-dependent manner independent of platelet count.[10] Therefore fibrinogen deficiency or fibrin polymerization disorders can be rapidly detected.

Chemical structures

See also


  1. ^ a b Haidle, A. M.; Myers, A. G. (2004). "An Enantioselective, Modular, and General Route to the Cytochalasins: Synthesis of L-696,474 and Cytochalasin B" (pdf). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (33): 12048–12053.  
  2. ^ a b c d Cooper, J. A. (1987). "Effects of Cytochalasin and Phalloidin on Actin" (pdf). Journal of Cell Biology 105 (4): 1473–1478.  
  3. ^ Cox, R. H.; Cutler, H. G.; Hurd, R. E.; Cole, R. J. (1983). "Proton and Carbon-13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of the Conformation of Cytochalasin H Derivatives and Plant Growth Regulating Effects of Cytochalasins". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 31 (2): 405–408.  
  4. ^ Ornelles, D. A.; Fey, E. G.; Penman, S. (1986). "Cytochalasin Releases mRNA from the Cytoskeletal Framework and Inhibits Protein Synthesis" (pdf). Molecular and Cellular Biology 6 (5): 1650–1662.  
  5. ^ Udagawa, T.; Yuan, J.; Panigrahy, D.; Chang, Y.-H.; Shah, J.; D’Amato, R. J. (2000). -Derived Fungal Metabolite, Inhibits Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth"Aspergillus"Cytochalasin E, an Epoxide Containing (pdf). Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 294 (2): 421–427.  
  6. ^ Goddette, D. W.; Frieden, C. (1987). "Actin Polymerization - The Mechanism of Action of Cytochalasin D" (pdf). Journal of Biological Chemistry 261 (34): 15974–15980.  
  7. ^ a b Yahara, I.; Harada, F.; Sekita, S.; Yoshihira, K.; Natori, S. (1982). "Correlation between effects of 24 different cytochalasins on cellular structures and cellular events and those on actin in vitro" (pdf). Journal of Cell Biology 92 (1): 69–78.  
  8. ^ May, J. A.; Ratan, H.; Glenn, J. R.; Lösche, W.; Spangenberg, P.; Heptinstall, S. (1998). "GPIIb-IIIa antagonists cause rapid disaggregation of platelets pretreated with cytochalasin D. Evidence that the stability of platelet aggregates depends on normal cytoskeletal assembly". Platelets 9 (3–4): 227–232.  
  9. ^ Lang, T.; Toller, W.; Gütl, M.; Mahla, E.; Metzler, H.; Rehak, P.; März, W.; Halwachs-Baumann, G. (2004). "Different effects of abciximab and cytochalasin D on clot strength in thrombelastography" (pdf). Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2 (1): 147–153.  
  10. ^ Lang, T.; Johanning, K.; Metzler, H.; Piepenbrock, S.; Solomon, C.; Rahe-Meyer, N.; Tanaka, K. A. (2009). "The effects of fibrinogen levels on thromboelastometric variables in the presence of thrombocytopenia" (pdf). Anesthesia and Analgesia 108 (3): 751–758.  
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