Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;40(1-2):163-171. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Stimulation of Suicidal Erythrocyte Death by Phosphatase Inhibitor Calyculin A.

Author information

Department of Cardiology, Vascular Medicine and Physiology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.



The serine/threonine protein phosphatase 1 and 2a inhibitor Calyculin A may trigger suicidal death or apoptosis of tumor cells. Similar to apoptosis of nucleated cells, erythrocytes may enter eryptosis, the suicidal erythrocyte death characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Triggers of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+] i). Eryptosis is fostered by activation of staurosporine sensitive protein kinase C, SB203580 sensitive p38 kinase, and D4476 sensitive casein kinase. Eryptosis may further involve zVAD sensitive caspases. The present study explored, whether Calyculin A induces eryptosis and, if so, whether its effect requires Ca2+ entry, kinases and/or caspases Methods: Phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface was estimated from annexin-V-binding, cell volume from forward scatter, and [Ca2+] i from Fluo-3 fluorescence, as determined by flow cytometry.


A 48 hours exposure of human erythrocytes to Calyculin A (≥ 2.5 nM) significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells, significantly decreased forward scatter and significantly increased Fluo-3 fluorescence. The effect of Calyculin A on annexin-V-binding was significantly blunted by removal of extracellular Ca2+, by staurosorine (1 µM), SB203580 (2 µM), D4476 (10 µM), and zVAD (10 µM).


Calyculin A triggers cell shrinkage and phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least in part requiring Ca2+ entry, kinase activity and caspase activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center