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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...
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