Nigericin Sodium is an antibiotic and potassium ionophore derived from Streptomyces hygroscopicus. It exchanges potassium for hydrogen ions across biological membranes in a similar manner to Valinomycin. Nigericin Sodium also acts as an ionophore for Pb2+ with no activity with other divalent cations. Nigericin is insoluble in water but soluble in ethanol, methanol and chloroform.
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|Mechanism of Action
|Nigericin Sodium acts as an antiporter of H and K ions by exchanging K for H. This ionic imbalance rapidly decreases the intracellular pH. It stimulates mitochondrial ATPase activity and disrupts membrane potential.
|One study showed the increased intracellular acidity halted DNA synthesis in Erlich acites carcinoma lending support to use as a chemotherapeutic agent.
|Margolis LB et al (1989) K+/H+-antiporter Nigericin arrests DNA synthesis in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells. PNAS 86:6626-6629