Ionomycin

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Calcium ionophore - NFAT Activator
Ionomycin

Ionomycin is a membrane permeable calcium ionophore produced by the bacterium Streptomyces conglobatus.

This ionophore facilitates the transfer of calcium ions (Ca2+) into and out of cells [1]. Ionomycin can be used to increase intracellular calcium levels triggering cell death through apoptosis and autophagy [1].

Ionomycin is commonly used in conjunction with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) to activate T cells [2]. This combination of PMA and ionomycin activates the transcription factors NF-κB and NFAT leading to the production of the cytokines, such as IL-2 [3, 4].

References:

  1. Pinton P. et al., 2008. Calcium and apoptosis: ER-mitochondria Ca2+ transfer in the control of apoptosis. Oncogene. 27(50):6407-18.
  2. Röth D. et al., 2014. Dynamin related protein 1-dependent mitochondrial fission regulates oxidative signalling in T cells. FEBS Lett. 588(9):1749-54.
  3. Wang S. et al., 2013. An enhancer element harboring variants associated with systemic lupus erythematosus engages the TNFAIP3 promoter to influence A20 expression. PLoS Genet. 9(9):e1003750.
  4. Ai W. et al., 2013. Optimal method to stimulate cytokine production and its use in immunotoxicity assessment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 10(9):3834-42.

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