Inhibition of Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin effects on intestinal guanylate cyclase and fluid secretion by quinacrine

Richard N. Greenberg, Richard L. Guerrant, Chang Bing, Donald C. Robertson, Ferid Murad

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7 Scopus citations


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli may produce a heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) that causes diarrheal disease in humans and in animals ST activates particulate guanylate cyclase in intestinal mucosal cells and causes intestinal fluid secretion. In this study, we examined the effects of quinacrine on ST activation of guanylate cyclase and ST-mediated intestinal fluid secretion. Quinacrine significantly reduced ST activation of particulate guanylate cyclase in rat intestinal tissue. Additionally, quinacrine reduced ST-mediated fluid secretion in a rat intestinal loop assay (P < 0.05). In the suckling mouse model, subcutaneous quinacrine (0.1 μmole/mouse) reduced ST-induced fluid secretion at a submaximally effective dose of the toxin, but it did not reduce ST-mediated fluid secretion at a near maximally effective dose. Quinacrine (0.1 μmole/mouse) did not significantly reduce intestinal fluid secretion induced by the analog of cyclic GMP, 8-bromo cyclic GMP. However, at a higher concentration of quinacrine (1 μmole/mouse), significant inhibition of 8-bromo cyclic GMP-induced secretion was observed. Inhibition by the antimalarial agent quinacrine of ST-induced fluid secretion, by a block prior to guanylate cyclase activation, suggests a possible role for a phospholipase early in the sequence of events of ST activation of guanylate cyclase. The results suggest that ST may activate membrane phospholipases prior to ST activation of guanylate cyclase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2005-2009
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements-Wea ppreciateth e technicaal ssist-anceo f S. E. Brown III and L. D. Halterman and the secretariaal nd graphicsa ssistanceo f L. A. Patrick, B. S. Shannona nd H. M. Kunz. This researchw ass upportedb y N. I. H. Grants T32AO7~6,A M15316a nd HL18260,a nd by the World Health Organization.T he Division of Geographic Medicine is supported by the Rockfeller Foundation.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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