Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 267–272 | Cite as

Siphonodictyal B1 from a Marine Sponge Increases Intracellular Calcium Levels Comparable to the Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) Inhibitor Thapsigargin

  • Ulf Bickmeyer
  • Achim Grube
  • Karl-Walter Klings
  • Joseph R. Pawlik
  • Matthias Köck
Original Article


Siphonodictyal B1 is a sesquiterpene-hydroquinone isolated from the Caribbean coral reef bioeroding sponge Siphonodictyon coralliphagum. Siphonodictyal B1 increased intracellular calcium levels in neuroendocrine cells (PC12) in the presence and absence of extracellular calcium using Fura-2 as a calcium-sensitive dye. The calcium rise was comparable in amplitude and timing to the application of the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase (SERCA) inhibitor thapsigargin from the terrestrial plant Thapsia garganica. The effects of thapsigargin and siphonodictyal B1 on intracellular calcium levels were not distinguishable in pharmacological experiments conducted with caffeine, ryanodine, muscarine, and thapsigargin in calcium-free and calcium-containing buffer, although thapsigargin was effective at lower concentrations. Thapsigargin is a sesquiterpene-lactone and has no structural similarities to siphonodictyal B1. We conclude that thapsigargin and siphonodictyal B1 share SERCAs as cellular targets. Siphonodictyal B1 may be involved in the process of bioeroding the calcium carbonate endoskeleton of the scleractinian corals attacked by S. coralliphagum.


Fura-2 Calcium signaling Secondary metabolite Marine sponge PC12 Thapsigargin Siphonodictyon coralliphagum 



Funding for sponge collections was provided by the National Science Foundation, Biological Oceanography Program (OCE-0550468), including UNOLS ship support on the RV Seward Johnson. We thank the government of the Bahamas for permission to perform research and collect samples in their territorial waters. We are grateful to the students of Biology at the University of Hamburg and Janine Peikert, Robert Ihns, and Sven Falke for their sound help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Bickmeyer
    • 1
  • Achim Grube
    • 2
  • Karl-Walter Klings
    • 1
  • Joseph R. Pawlik
    • 3
  • Matthias Köck
    • 2
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-GemeinschaftHelgolandGermany
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-GemeinschaftBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Center for Marine ScienceUniversity of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

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