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Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the pr...
Dithiolethiones are a family of promising cancer chemopreventive agents, and induction of phase 2 enzymes is key to their chemopreventive activities. Two dithiolethiones have been evaluated in humans for cancer prevention. While some chemopreventive activities were detected in several human studies, potential side effects are a concern. Herein, we report structure−activity relationships of 25 dithiolethiones. Several compounds show exceedingly potent and bladder specific activity in phase 2 enzyme induction. Structural features responsible for such activity, as well as those inhibiting the activity, are discussed. Moreover, the compounds activate and depend on Nrf2 for their inductive activities. Nrf2 is a major transcriptional stimulator of cytoprotective genes and is critical for cancer prevention. Thus, several new dithiolethiones t...
Portimine, a new polycyclic ether toxin containing a cyclic imine moiety, was isolated from the marine benthic dinoflagellate Vulcanodinium rugosum collected from Northland, New Zealand. The structure of portimine, including the relative configurations, was elucidated by spectroscopic analyses. The cyclic imine moiety consists of an unprecedented five-membered ring with a spiro-link to a cyclohexene ring. This is the only structural similarity to the pinnatoxin group of polycyclic ethers also produced by V. rugosum, which all contain a six-membered cyclic imine ring. The LD50 of portimine to mice by intraperitoneal injection was 1570 μg/kg, indicating a much lower toxicity than many other cyclic imine shellfish toxins. In contrast, portimine was highly toxic to mammalian cells in vitro with an LC50 to P388 cells of 2.7 nM, and activati...
Pinnatoxins and pteriatoxins are a group of cyclic imine toxins that have hitherto only been isolated from Japanese shellfish. As with other cyclic imine shellfish toxins, pinnatoxins cause rapid death in the mouse bioassay for lipophilic shellfish toxins, but there is no evidence directly linking these compounds to human illness. We have identified the known pinnatoxins A (1) and D (6), and the novel pinnatoxins E (7), F (8) and G (5), in a range of shellfish and environmental samples from Australia and New Zealand using LC−MS. After isolation from the digestive glands of Pacific oysters, the structures of the novel pinnatoxins were determined by mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, and their LD50 values were evaluated by ip administration to mice. Examination of the toxin structures, together with analysis of environmental samples...
animals and people consuming seafood. Brevetoxin-B2 (5) is a toxic metabolite produced in shellfish exposed to algae that contain brevetoxin-B (1). S-Desoxybrevetoxin-B2 (4) has been proposed as a cometabolite produced during this transformation, and while LC-MS analyses suggest its presence in shellfish, it has not yet been isolated and characterized. Studies on these materials are severely constrained by the difficulty of obtaining and purifying them from natural sources. We have developed a convenient one-pot conversion of commercially available brevetoxin-B (1) into S-desoxybrevetoxin-B2 (4), and a simple method for converting 4 into brevetoxin-B2 (5). Full NMR and mass-spectral characterization of 4 and 5 confirmed their structures and showed that the ratio of diastereoisomers in the synthetic 4 and 5 was similar to that observed ...
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