Seafood toxins

Marine toxins are of interest to investigators as a consequence of the associated health risk to human populations and the accompanying socioeconomic impact Seafood poisoning in humans is associated with bacteria and viruses but also various toxins produced by micro algae, especially dinoflagellates, and transferred to humans by marine bivalve molluscs. The ensuing food poisoning can be severe and even life threatening Amongst these are toxins such as the tetrodotoxins, saxitoxins, ciguatera toxins and brevetoxins. Also the chlorosulpholipids which are structurally and stereochemically complex and which bear stereochemicaly complex , polychlorinated acyclic carbon chains and one or two O-sulphate esters.. The mechanism of their biological activity is unknown. Chlorosulpholipids are associated with membranes in the organisms from which they are isolated, but little is understood about their role within biological membranes. Nilewski et al report the synthesis of a chlorosulpholipid cytotoxin, leading to confirmation of the proposed structure and the discovery of unanticipated reactivity of polychlorinated hydrocarbons. The concise synthetic approach should enable the preparation of material in sufficient quantities to facilitate biological studies.
Nilewski et al 2009 Total synthesis of a chlorosulpholipid cytotoxin associated with sea food poisoning. Nature vol 457, 573-576

Martin Eastwood
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