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      Active ingredients in Chinese medicines promoting blood circulation as Na+/K+-ATPase inhibitors

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          The positive inotropic effect of cardiac glycosides lies in their reversible inhibition on the membrane-bound Na +/K +-ATPase in human myocardium. Steroid-like compounds containing a core structure similar to cardiac glycosides are found in many Chinese medicines conventionally used for promoting blood circulation. Some of them are demonstrated to be Na +/K +-ATPase inhibitors and thus putatively responsible for their therapeutic effects via the same molecular mechanism as cardiac glycosides. On the other hand, magnesium lithospermate B of danshen is also proposed to exert its cardiac therapeutic effect by effectively inhibiting Na +/K +-ATPase. Theoretical modeling suggests that the number of hydrogen bonds and the strength of hydrophobic interaction between the effective ingredients of various medicines and residues around the binding pocket of Na +/K +-ATPase are crucial for the inhibitory potency of these active ingredients. Ginsenosides, the active ingredients in ginseng and sanqi, substantially inhibit Na +/K +-ATPase when sugar moieties are attached only to the C-3 position of their steroid-like structure, equivalent to the sugar position in cardiac glycosides. Their inhibitory potency is abolished, however, when sugar moieties are linked to C-6 or C-20 position of the steroid nucleus; presumably, these sugar attachments lead to steric hindrance for the entrance of ginsenosides into the binding pocket of Na +/K +-ATPase. Neuroprotective effects of cardiac glycosides, several steroid-like compounds, and magnesium lithospermate B against ischemic stroke have been accordingly observed in a cortical brain slice-based assay model, and cumulative data support that effective inhibitors of Na +/K +-ATPase in the brain could be potential drugs for the treatment of ischemic stroke.

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          Crystal structure of the sodium-potassium pump.

          The Na+,K+-ATPase generates electrochemical gradients for sodium and potassium that are vital to animal cells, exchanging three sodium ions for two potassium ions across the plasma membrane during each cycle of ATP hydrolysis. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure at 3.5 A resolution of the pig renal Na+,K+-ATPase with two rubidium ions bound (as potassium congeners) in an occluded state in the transmembrane part of the alpha-subunit. Several of the residues forming the cavity for rubidium/potassium occlusion in the Na+,K+-ATPase are homologous to those binding calcium in the Ca2+-ATPase of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum. The beta- and gamma-subunits specific to the Na+,K+-ATPase are associated with transmembrane helices alphaM7/alphaM10 and alphaM9, respectively. The gamma-subunit corresponds to a fragment of the V-type ATPase c subunit. The carboxy terminus of the alpha-subunit is contained within a pocket between transmembrane helices and seems to be a novel regulatory element controlling sodium affinity, possibly influenced by the membrane potential.
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            New developments in the chemistry and biology of the bioactive constituents of Tanshen.

            Tanshen, the rhizome of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, has been used in Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) for multiple therapeutic remedies. The major constituents of Tanshen include water-soluble phenolic acids and lipophilic tanshinones. Phenolic acids possess antioxidant and anticoagulant activities, whereas tanshinones show antibacterial, antioxidant, and antineoplastic activities. This review will focus on recent developments concerning the chemical constituents of Tanshen and their biological activities. These chemical and biological studies continue to increase our understanding about a scientific basis for the traditional clinical use of Tanshen and can also contribute to the development of new drug candidates. Recently, in the author's laboratory, a new compound, neo-tanshinlactone, was discovered to have potent selective antibreast cancer activity. This compound might serve as a lead for developing promising antibreast cancer clinical trials candidates. Copyright 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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              Isozymes of the Na-K-ATPase: heterogeneity in structure, diversity in function.

              The Na-K-ATPase is characterized by a complex molecular heterogeneity that results from the expression and differential association of multiple isoforms of both its alpha- and beta-subunits. At present, as many as four different alpha-polypeptides (alpha1, alpha2, alpha3, and alpha4) and three distinct beta-isoforms (beta1, beta2, and beta3) have been identified in mammalian cells. The stringent constraints on the structure of the Na pump isozymes during evolution and their tissue-specific and developmental pattern of expression suggests that the different Na-K-ATPases have evolved distinct properties to respond to cellular requirements. This review focuses on the functional properties, regulation, and possible physiological relevance of the Na pump isozymes. The coexistence of multiple alpha- and beta-isoforms in most cells has hindered the understanding of the roles of the individual polypeptides. The use of heterologous expression systems has helped circumvent this problem. The kinetic characteristics of different Na-K-ATPase isozymes to the activating cations (Na+ and K+), the substrate ATP, and the inhibitors Ca2+ and ouabain demonstrate that each isoform has distinct properties. In addition, intracellular messengers differentially regulate the activity of the individual Na-K-ATPase isozymes. Thus the regulation of specific Na pump isozymes gives cells the ability to precisely coordinate Na-K-ATPase activity to their physiological requirements.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University , Taichung 40227, Taiwan, China
                [2 ]School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University , Taichung 40402, Taiwan, China
                [3 ]Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica , Taipei 11529, Taiwan, China
                Author notes
                Acta Pharmacol Sin
                Acta Pharmacol. Sin
                Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
                Nature Publishing Group
                February 2011
                04 February 2011
                : 32
                : 2
                : 141-151
                21293466 4009935 aps2010197 10.1038/aps.2010.197
                Copyright © 2011 CPS and SIMM


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