Effects of a synthetic analog of polycavernoside A on human neuroblastoma cells

Eva Cagide, M. Carmen Louzao, Isabel R. Ares, Mercedes R. Vieytes, Mari Yotsu-Yamashita, Leo A. Paquette, Takeshi Yasumoto, Luis M. Botana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Polycavernoside A is a glycosidic marine toxin first extracted from the red alga Polycavernosa tsudai in 1991 when 3 people died after the ingestion of this food. Polycavernoside A is an interesting molecule because of its complex macrolide structure and strong bioactivity. However, the target site of this toxin has not been characterized. Methods: We studied the effects of a synthethic analog of polycavernoside A on human neuroblastoma cells by measuring changes in membrane potential with bis-oxonol and variations in intracellular calcium levels with fura-2. Fluorescent phalloidin was utilized for assaying activity on actin cytoskeleton. Results: Data showed that this polycavernoside A analog induced a membrane depolarization and an increase in cytosolic calcium levels. Conclusion: These results provide the first insight into the mode of action of polycavernoside A, suggesting that: i) this toxin triggers an initial extracellular calcium entry neither produced across L-type voltage-gated calcium channels nor activation of muscarinic receptors ii) there is a depolarization induced by the toxin and due to the extracellular calcium entry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Actin
  • Calcium
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Human neuroblastoma
  • Marine toxin
  • Membrane potential
  • Polycavernoside


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