Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Pharmacol. 1994 Jun;45(6):1132-6.

Palytoxin induces K+ efflux from yeast cells expressing the mammalian sodium pump.

Author information

Institut für Biochemie und Endokrinologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany.


Palytoxin causes potassium efflux and sodium influx in all investigated animals cells. Much evidence points to the sodium pump (Na+/K(+)-ATPase) as the target of the toxin. A heterologous expression system for mammalian Na+/K(+)-ATPase in the brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used to test this hypothesis. Yeast cells do not contain endogenous sodium pumps but can be transformed with vectors coding for the alpha and beta subunits of the mammalian sodium pump. We now show that transformed yeast cells expressing both alpha and beta subunits of Na+/K(+)-ATPase are highly sensitive to the toxin, as measured by the loss of intracellular potassium. Palytoxin-induced potassium efflux is completely inhibited by 500 microM ouabain. In contrast, nontransformed yeast cells or cells expressing either the alpha or beta subunits are insensitive to palytoxin. Thus, the alpha/beta heterodimer of the sodium pump is required for the release of potassium induced by palytoxin. The results suggest that palytoxin converts the sodium pump into an open channel, allowing the passage of alkali ions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center