The Dual Specific Hemolysin-X is a Bioactive Natural Product that Forms Pores on the Surface of Erythrocytes

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Department of Chemistry


Hemolysins are natural cytotoxic agents that are capable of destabilizing plasma membrane structures of erythrocytes. We recently identified a plant hemolysin named Hemolysin-X (HelyX) that showed dual specificity for cholesterol and certain serum glycoproteins, such as asialofetuin and fibrinogen. HelyX was isolated through two different approaches: protein purification protocols as well as organic solvent extraction. Ligand binding properties of HelyX were elucidated by inhibition assays using microtiter plates as well as spectrophotometer. HelyX demonstrated significantly fast kinetics (30–180 seconds) of lysis and ligand binding. Scanning electron microscopic imaging captured distinct pores on the surface of HelyX-treated erythrocytes. Our results indicate that HelyX disintegrates mammalian red blood cells by forming pores on their surfaces.

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology