Thimerosal or Thiomersal is an organomercury compound with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thimerosal was first patented by Morris Kharasch from the University of Maryland in 1927, and later given the trade name Merthiolate by Eli Lilly and Company. Thimerosal is used as a preservative for many pharmaceutical and research applications, as well as a topical antiseptic on skin and mucous membranes.
Thimerosal is and enzyme inhibitor that is capable of inhibiting a wide range of sulfhydryl-dependent enzymes and proteins. Thimerosal causes a release of calcium from intracellular stores in many cells types and may induce or inhibit cellular functions dependent on calcium signaling. Thimerosal may have toxic effects to many cell types and has been shown to induce apoptosis in vitro.
Thimerosal is sparingly soluble in aqueous solution (4.6 mg/mL).
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|Mechanism of Action||Thimerosal inhibits sulfhydryl-containing active site of various enzymes and binds to sulfhydryl compounds, such as glutathione, cysteine, and SH groups of proteins. In addition, thimerosal activates the InsP3 calcium channel on endoplasmic reticular membrane, thereby triggering the release of calcium from intracellular stores resulting in a calcium-induced calcium-influx of extracellular calcium. Consequently, thimerosal may induce or inhibit cellular functions dependent on calcium signaling.|
|Spectrum||Thimerosal is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, that is effective against gram-positive bacteria gram-negative bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses.|
|Plant Biology Applications||Thimerosal has demonstrated antifungal properties against pathogenic fungi including Aspergillus and Fusarium species and has demonstrated greater potency than amphotericin B and natamycin.|
|Solubility||(1g/1.5ml in H2O): Clear or slightly hazy and light yellow solution|
The effects of thimerosal on calcium uptake and inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate-induced calcium release in cerebellar microsomes: L.G. Sayers, et al.; Biochem. J. 289, 883 (1993)
Disulfide linkage of biotin identifies a 106-kDa Ca2+ release channel in sarcoplasmic reticulum: N.F. Zaidi, et al.; J. Biol. Chem. 264, 21737 (1989)
Thimerosal induces DNA breaks, caspase-3 activation, membrane damage, and cell death in cultured human neurons and fibroblasts: D. S. Baskin, et al.; Toxicol. Sci. 74, 361 (2003)
Antibody to the inositol trisphosphate receptor blocks thimerosal- enhanced Ca(2+)-induced Ca2+ release and Ca2+ oscillations in hamster eggs: S. Miyazaki, et al.; FEBS Lett. 309, 180 (1992)
Being on the track of thimerosal: A. Madi; Acta Microbiol. Immunol. Hung. 52, 95 (2005)
Yan, Xu, and et al. "In Vitro Activity of Thimerosal against Ocular Pathogenic Fungi."Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 54.1 (2010): 536-39. www.ncbi.gov. Web. 28 Aug. 2012.
Thimerosal causes calcium oscillations and sensitizes calcium-induced calcium release in unfertilized hamster eggs: K. Swann; FEBS Lett. 278, 175 (1991),
Thimerosal: a versatile sulfhydryl reagent, calcium mobilizer, and cell function-modulating agent:: J.G. Elferink; Gen. Pharmacol. 33, 1 (1999), (Review),