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One of a series of structurally related fungal metabolic products which, among other effects on biological systems, selectively and reversibly block cytokinesis while not affecting karyokinesis; the molecule with minor variations consists of a benzyl-substituted hydroaromatic isoindolone system, which in turn is fused to a small macrolide-like cyclic ring.



one of a group of related antibiotics produced by certain types of Fungi Imperfecti. Cytochalasins were isolated in 1967 by a British research group (S. B. Carter and coworkers). The cytochalasins that have been identified— designated A, B, C, D, E, and F—have the structural formula

and are differentiated by the side groups R1 and R2, representing different radicals.

Cytochalasins are crystal compounds with a molecular weight of 477 to 507 and a melting point of 182° to 270°C; they are insoluble in water but freely soluble in organic solvents. In a low concentration of 1 microgram per milliliter (μg/ml), cytochalasins inhibit the formation of an intracellular dividing membrane after the complete separation of the chromosomes that takes place in cell division, or mitosis, and thus lead to the formation of multinucleate cells. In concentrations of 10 μg/ml, cytochalasins cause the nucleus to be drawn out of the cell (enucleation). Another effect of cytochalasins is to block endocytosis in macrophages. The action of cytochalasins is reversible: upon their removal, endocytosis is reestablished; the nucleus, which having left the cell has remained connected to it by a cytoplasmic bridge, reenters the cell. Cytochalasins are believed to affect the microfilaments that are elements of the cell contraction system. Cytochalasins are used in research work in cytology and physiology.


Carter, S. B. “Effects of Cytochalasins on Mammalian Cells.” Nature, 1967, vol. 213, no. 5073.
Carter, S. B. “The Cytochalasins as Research Tools in Cytology.” Endeavour, 1972, vol. 31, no. 113.


References in periodicals archive ?
Nonspecific uptake was determined in the presence of cytochalasin B (50 [micro]M) during the assay, and these values were subtracted from all other values.
5 [micro]g/mL cytochalasin B (Sigma), embryos were washed three times in PZM-5 containing 0.
Cytochalasin B (6 ([micro]g/ml, Sigma, USA) was added after 44 h of culture to block cytokinesis, allowing identifying lymphocytes dividing in culture.
Patulin (clavicin, expansin) and Cytochalasin E are important mycotoxin produce by Aspergillus clavatus (Lopez- Diaz and Flannigan, 1997; Davis and Diener, 1987).
20 [micro]g/ml (Micro lab) and cytochalasin B (Sigma, USA) were used for this analysis.
Cells were then harvested by centrifugation and re-suspended in medium containing 3 [micro]g/mL cytochalasin B together with morphine sulfate (1.
The compounds isolated from Phoma exigua were named phomin and dehydrophomin and those from Helminthosporium dematioideum were called cytochalasin A and B, dehydrophomin being identical to cytochalasin A and phomin to cytochalasin B.
The murine heart was further perfused with 100 mL standard oxygenated Tyrode solu tion plus 25 [micor]L of 10 [micro]M cytochalasin D (Sigma, Missouri, USA) to block cardiac contraction.
Cytochalasin B slows but does not prevent monomer addition at the barbed end of the actin filament.
Cytochalasin B, a microfilament-disrupting chemical, affects cytoplasmic streaming throughout the length of radish root hairs, but the differential effects on the movement of small and large particles is interpreted to mean that both populations of microfilaments are affected (Seagull & Heath, 1980b).