Palytoxin Induces Functional Changes of Anion Transport in Red Blood Cells: Metabolic Impact

S Ficarra, Andrea Russo, F Stefanizzi, M Mileto, D Barreca, E Bellocco, G Lagana, U Leuzzi, Bruno Giardina, A Galtieri, E. Tellone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Palytoxin (PTX) is classified as one of the most powerful marine biotoxins (of high molecular weight and no protein origin) because it is able to interact strongly with important cellular structures influencing their function in different biological processes. This study of the effects of PTX on red blood cells (RBC) extends the knowledge about its toxicity, which concerns not only the well-known action on Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase but also band 3 protein (B3 or AE1), the role of which is essential for anion transport and for the structure, function, and metabolic integrity of the erythrocyte. The effects of PTX on RBC can be summarized as follows: it alters the anionic flux and seriously compromises not only CO(2) transport but also the metabolic modulation centered on the oxy-deoxy cycle of hemoglobin; it stabilizes the plasma membrane by preventing lipid peroxidation; and its effect does not lead to activation of caspases 3 and 8. From what is reported in steps 2 and 3, and on the basis of the results obtained on hemolysis, methemoglobin levels, and phosphatase activity, an increase of the reducing power of the erythrocytes (RBC) in the presence of PTX clearly emerges. The results have enabled us to outline some metabolic adaptations induced in the RBC by PTX
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Band 3 protein
  • Caspase 3
  • Erythrocytes
  • Hemoglobin


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