Trifluoperazine, a drug that binds to Ca2+-calmodulin and inhibits its interaction with other proteins, was found to inhibit growth and phagocytosis in a macrophagelike cell line, J774.16. Both effects were reversible and occurred at the same concentrations of drug (25--50 microM) that inhibited the activation of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase by calmodulin in vitro. Fc-mediated phagocytosis was also depressed by W-7, a sulfonamide derivative that inhibits the activity of Ca2+-calmodulin. In contrast, taxol, a drug that stabilizes cellular microtubules, had no effect on Fc-mediated phagocytosis although it inhibited cell growth at nanomolar concentrations. The inhibitory effects of trifluoperazine and W-7 on phagocytosis suggest that calmodulin may be involved in this complex cellular function.

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