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  Monensin isolated from Streptomyces cinnamonensis is a well-known representative of naturally polyether ionophore antibiotics . It is able to form pseudomacrocyclic complexes with mono and divalent cations and transport of the cations across cellular membrane. In cells monensin blocks the secretion of glycoproteins. It is soluble in chloroform, ethanol and methanol. Monensin plays an important role as an Na+/H+ antiporter, it blocks intracellular protein transport, and exhibits antibiotic, antimalarial, and other biological activities. The antibacterial properties of monensin and its derivatives are a result of their ability to transport monovalent and divalent metal cations through cellular and subcellular membranes.Monensin is reported to be used extensively in beef and dairy cattle to improve growth rates.



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  • H. H. Mollenhauer, D. J. Morre, L. D. Rowe, ”Alteration of intracellular traffic by monensin; mechanism, specificity and relationship to toxicity”, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1990, 1031(2), 225-246.
  • A. Huczyński, M. Ratajczak-Sitarz, A. Katrusiak, B. Brzezinski, ”Molecular structure of the 1:1 inclusion complex of Monensin A lithium salt with acetonitrile”, J. Mol. Struct. 2007, 871, 92-97.
  • S. A. Hamidinia, O. I. Shimelis, B., Tan, W. L. Erdahl, C.J, Chapman, G. D., Renkes, R. W. Taylor, D. R. Pfeiffer, ”Monensin mediates a rapid and selective transport of Pb2+. Possible application of monensin for the treatment of Pb2+ intoxication”, J. Biol. Chem., 2002, 277(41), 38111-38120.
  • A. Huczyński, M. Ratajczak-Sitarz, A. Katrusiak, B. Brzezinski ”Molecular structure of the 1:1 inclusion complex of Monensin A sodium salt with acetonitrile” J. Mol. Struct. 2007, 832, 84-89.
  • M. Fahim, B. C. Pressman, ”Cardiovascular effects and pharmacokinetics of the carboxylic ionophore monensin in dogs and rabbits”, Life Sci., 1981, 29(19), 1959-1966.Cell biology
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Monensin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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