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Toxins 2015, 7(5), 1396-1410;

Enhanced Eryptosis Following Gramicidin Exposure

Department of Physiology, University of Tübingen, Gmelinstr. 5, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John P. Berry
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 23 April 2015
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The peptide antibiotic and ionophore gramicidin has previously been shown to trigger apoptosis of nucleated cells. In analogy to apoptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes or eryptosis involves cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Triggers of eryptosis include oxidative stress, increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i), and ceramide. The present study explored, whether gramicidin triggers eryptosis. To this end phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface was estimated from annexin V binding, cell volume from forward scatter, red blood cell distribution width (RDW) from electronic particle counting, reactive oxidant species (ROS) from 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3- and Fluo4 fluorescence, and ceramide abundance from binding of specific antibodies. As a result, a 24 h exposure of human erythrocytes to gramicidin significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells (≥1 µg/mL), forward scatter (≥0.5 µg/mL) and hemolysis. Gramicidin enhanced ROS activity, [Ca2+]i and ceramide abundance at the erythrocyte surface. The stimulation of annexin-V-binding by gramicidin was significantly blunted but not abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+. In conclusion, gramicidin stimulates phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least partially due to induction of oxidative stress, increase of [Ca2+]i and up-regulation of ceramide abundance. Despite increase of [Ca2+]i, gramicidin increases cell volume and slightly reduces RWD. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphatidylserine; gramicidin; calcium; cell volume; ROS; oxidative stress; eryptosis phosphatidylserine; gramicidin; calcium; cell volume; ROS; oxidative stress; eryptosis

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Malik, A.; Bissinger, R.; Liu, G.; Liu, G.; Lang, F. Enhanced Eryptosis Following Gramicidin Exposure. Toxins 2015, 7, 1396-1410.

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