Purification and characterization of ciguatoxins from moray eel (Lycodontis javanicus, Muraenidae)

Richard J. Lewis, Michelle Sellin, Mark A. Poli, Raymond S. Norton, John K. MacLeod, Margaret M. Sheil

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Abstract

R. J. Lewis, M. Sellin, M. A. Poli, R. S. Norton, J. K. MacLeod and M. M. Sheil. Purification and characterization of ciguatoxins from moray eel (Lycodontis javanicus, Muraenidae). Toxicon 29, 1115-1127, 1991.-Viscera (48.3 kg) from moray eels (Lycodontis javanicus) collected in a ciguatera endemic area were extracted and the ciguatoxins characterized. Three major ciguatoxins, CTX-1, CTX-2 and CTX-3, were isolated and purified to homogeneity on reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Several minor toxins were also detected. CTX-1 (490 μg) was comparable by both 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and mass spectroscopy (MH+ m/z = 1111) to ciguatoxin isolated previously from moray eels. CTX-2 (280 μg) and CTX-3 (100 μg) were less polar ciguatoxins not previously characterized. CTX-2 and CTX-3 differed from CTX-1 by 16 mass units, suggesting that they were less oxygenated analogues. 1H NMR revealed that the hydroxyl at C54 in CTX-1 was absent in CTX-2 and CTX-3. An additional change in the chemistry of CTX-2 compared to CTX-1 and CTX-3 was also suggested on the basis of 1H NMR, indicating that CTX-2 may arise from a different precursor to CTX-1. CTX-3 is likely to be an intermediate in the oxidation of a gambiertoxin (sodium channel toxins from Gambierdiscus toxicus) to CTX-1. The i.p. LD50 values for CTX-1, CTX-2 and CTX-3 were 0.25, 2.3 and 0.9 μg/kg, respectively. The signs induced in mice by the ciguatoxins were similar, except that CTX-2 and CTX-3 induced hind-limb paralysis that was absent with CTX-1. Each ciguatoxin was potent orally. CTX-1, CTX-2 and CTX-3 competitively inhibited the binding of [3H] brevetoxin-3 to voltage-dependent sodium channels with relative potencies qualitatively (but not quantitatively) comparable to mouse lethality. This study reveals that the relatively small chemical differences between CTX-1, CTX-2 and CTX-3 give rise to significant structure-activity and pharmacokinetic differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1127
Number of pages13
JournalToxicon
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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