Nigericin was isolated from an unidentified streptomycete by Harned et al. (1951). Subsequently the producing organism was reported to be Streptomyces “Nig-1” (Benedict, 1953). The antibiotic has the empirical formula C39H69O11. It forms a monosodium salt and has one —OCH3 group. Nigericin inhibits grampositive bacteria at levels below 0.5 µg/ml, but levels above 60 µg/ml are required to inhibit gram- negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli (Harned et al., 1951). Mycobacterium smegmatis and Candida albicans are inhibited at 2 µg/ml, and fungi are inhibited at somewhat higher concentrations. The antibiotic is not active against bacteriophages at 500 µg/ml (Hall et al., 1951). The LD50 (intraperitoneally) is 2.5 mg/kg in mice.
KeywordsATPase Activity Krebs Cycle Antibiotic Concentration Mycobacterium Smegmatis Intact Mitochondrion
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