Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochemistry. 1991 Sep 3;30(35):8598-604.

Taurine-conjugated bile acids act as Ca2+ ionophores.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


The ionophoretic properties of several taurine-conjugated bile acids have been investigated in two experimental systems: in a two-phase bulk partitioning system and in proteoliposomes. In the former, a bile acid/Ca2+ complex was extracted into the bulk organic phase and had an experimental stoichiometry of 1.75. Extraction was specific for Ca2+ over Mg2+; Na+ and K+ did not compete with the extraction of Ca2+. In the second system, bile acids at concentrations as low as 5-100 molecules/vesicle lowered the steady-state Ca2+ gradient maintained by a reconstituted sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase. The effect was not due to nonspecific membrane perturbation. In addition to releasing intravesicular Ca2+ in a transmembraneous process, bile acids caused partition of Ca2+/bile acid complexes into the hydrophobic core of the bilayer. In both experimental systems, the Ca2+ ionophoretic activity correlated well with the concentration and the hydrophobicity of the bile acid. Taurolithocholate was most active, with a significant effect measurable at 10 microM in either system. Since bile acid concentrations equal to those used in our experiments can occur in the blood in certain liver diseases, the results support the notion that bile acids can increase the intracellular Ca2+ concentration bypassing the regulatory systems that maintain cellular Ca2+ homeostasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center