Ionophore Antibiotics

  • E. P. Bakker
Part of the Antibiotics book series (ANTIBIOTICS, volume 5 / 1)


Ionophore antibiotics are compounds produced by microorganisms (mainly spore-forming bacteria) ; they act by specifically increasing the ion permeability of the cell membrane. In Vol. I of this series, the then well-known ionophore antibiotics valinomycin (Hunter and Schwartz, 1967 a), gramicidin (Hunter and Schwartz, 1967 c), nigericin (Shaw, 1967 a), and monactin (Shaw, 1967 b) were discussed. At that time it was recognized that an ionophore acts at the membrane level, but the mechanism by which it does so was still controversial. In the decade which has since elapsed, many new ionophores became available, and most of the details of their mechanism of action were elucidated. As it has turned out, medical and pharmaceutical applications of ionophores are limited, since the activity of ionophores is not restricted to microbial membranes. On the other hand, ionophores were found to be wonderful tools in biochemical research at the cellular or membrane level.


Monovalent Cation Lipid Bilayer Membrane Transmembrane Channel Polyene Antibiotic Neutral Carrier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • E. P. Bakker

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