The Journal of biological chemistry

Characterization of ionomycin as a calcium ionophore.

PMID 28319


The ionophorous properties of a new antibiotic, ionomycin, have been studied. It was found that the antibiotic is capable of extracting calcium ion from the bulk of an aqueous phase into an organic phase. The antibiotic also acts as a mobile ion carrier to transport the cation across a solvent barrier. The divalent cation selectivity order for ionomycin as determined by ion competition experiments was found to be: Ca greater than Mg greater than Sr = Ba, where the binding of strontium and barium by the antibiotic is insignificant. The antibiotic also binds La3+ to some extent, but its complexation with monovalent alkali metal ions is negligible. Measurement of the binding of ionomycin with Ca2+ indicates that ionomycin complexes and transports calcium ion in a one to one stoichiometry.