Send to

Choose Destination
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1990;116(6):609-14.

Inhibition of protein phosphatases by microcystins and nodularin associated with hepatotoxicity.

Author information

Cancer Prevention Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Microcystins and nodularin, isolated from toxic blue-green algae, are hepatotoxic monocyclic polypeptides. Both microcystins and nodularin inhibited in vitro protein phosphatase activity present in a cytosolic fraction of mouse liver, bound to the okadaic acid receptors, protein phosphatases 1 and 2A, and thus resulted in the increase of phosphoproteins; this was referred to as the apparent "activation" of protein kinases. Their concentrations causing 50% of the maximal effects are comparable to that of okadaic acid, a potent protein phosphatase inhibitor and a potent tumor promoter, in the nanomolar range of concentration. The increase of phosphoproteins was observed in rat primary cultured hepatocytes and was subsequently associated with morphological changes, which appeared to be a step in the process of hepatotoxicity. The well-known hepatotoxic compounds, alpha-amanitin and phalloidin, did not show any effects similar to those of microcystins, nodularin and okadaic acid. It is suggested that the hepatotoxicity of microcystins and nodularin may result from inhibition of protein phosphatases and the increase of phosphoproteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center