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Special Issue "Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds"

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A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gian Paolo Rossini (Website)

Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Via Campi 287, 41100 Modena, Italy
Fax: +39 059 205 5410
Interests: signal transduction; receptors; marine biotoxins; molecular mechanisms of toxicity; toxicity pathways; proteomics; biomarkers; functional methods of toxin detection; cell adhesion; cell proliferation; cell death; cell cultures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human poisonings due to exposures to marine biotoxins have occurred in the past and represent naturally occurring events, that have been attracting an increasing interest from the scientific community.

The last ten years, in particular, have witnessed a growing body of knowledge on the chemistry, mechanisms of action, toxicity, ecology and distribution, as well as the health impact of marine biotoxins. Research efforts have led to a deeper understanding of many aspects of marine biotoxins and their impact on living organisms, while novel issues have been recognized. For instance, “new” toxin producers have been identified, and “old” ones are being characterized using molecular probes. The number of toxins isolated, chemically characterized and/or synthesized has increased, and new groups of biotoxins have been discovered. Likewise, the methodology for toxin detection has been continuously developed, providing both instrumental and bio-molecular options. Biochemical tools have been increasingly used to clarify the mechanisms of action of toxins, and the “omic” approaches have entered the biotoxin field. The toxicology of biotoxins has been advancing, taking into consideration the real conditions of human and animal exposure to these compounds.

It’s time to gather the information available on novel issues in marine biotoxins, to critically evaluate what we know and pinpoint the many unknowns, thereby providing a broad perspective to support the scientific community in its next efforts to understand and exploit the complexity of the chemistry and biology of marine biotoxins.

Prof. Dr. Gian Paolo Rossini
Guest Editor

List of Related Papers

Klisch, M.; Häder, D. P. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different. Mar. Drugs 2008, 6, 147-163.

Twiner, M. J.; Rehmann, N.; Hess, P.; Doucette, G. J. Azaspiracid Shellfish Poisoning: A Review on the Chemistry, Ecology, and Toxicology with an Emphasis on Human Health Impacts. Mar. Drugs 2008, 6, 39-72.

Paz, B.; Daranas, A. H.; Norte, M.; Riobó, P.; Franco, J. M.; Fernández, J. J. Yessotoxins, a Group of Marine Polyether Toxins: an Overview. Mar. Drugs 2008, 6, 73-102.

Berry, J. P.; Gantar, M.; Perez, M. H.; Berry, G.; Noriega, F. G. Cyanobacterial Toxins as Allelochemicals with Potential Applications as Algaecides, Herbicides and Insecticides. Mar. Drugs 2008, 6, 117-146.

Keywords

  • toxin producers
  • genomics
  • toxin synthesis
  • instrumental analysis
  • biosensors
  • functional assays
  • mechanisms of action
  • transcription profiles
  • proteomics
  • metabolomics
  • combined toxicity

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Qualitative and Quantitative Saponin Contents in Five Sea Cucumbers from the Indian Ocean
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(1), 173-189; doi:10.3390/md8010173
Received: 8 January 2010 / Accepted: 19 January 2010 / Published: 21 January 2010
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To avoid predation, holothuroids produce feeding-deterrent molecules in their body wall and viscera, the so-called saponins. Five tropical sea cucumber species of the family Holothuriidae were investigated in order to study their saponin content in two different organs, the body wall and [...] Read more.
To avoid predation, holothuroids produce feeding-deterrent molecules in their body wall and viscera, the so-called saponins. Five tropical sea cucumber species of the family Holothuriidae were investigated in order to study their saponin content in two different organs, the body wall and the Cuvierian tubules. Mass spectrometry techniques (MALDI- and ESI-MS) were used to detect and analyze saponins. The smallest number of saponins was observed in Holothuria atra, which contained a total of four congeners, followed by Holothuria leucospilota, Pearsonothuria graeffei and Actinopyga echinites with six, eight and ten congeners, respectively. Bohadschia subrubra revealed the highest saponin diversity (19 congeners). Saponin mixtures also varied between the two body compartments within a given animal. A semi-quantitative approach completed these results and showed that a high diversity of saponins is not particularly correlated to a high saponin concentration. Although the complexity of the saponin mixtures described makes the elucidation of their respective biological roles difficult, the comparisons between species and between body compartments give some clues about how these molecules may act as predator repellents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Update on Methodologies Available for Ciguatoxin Determination: Perspectives to Confront the Onset of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in Europe
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(6), 1838-1907; doi:10.3390/md8061838
Received: 6 April 2010 / Revised: 18 May 2010 / Accepted: 10 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (1133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) occurs mainly when humans ingest finfish contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). The complexity and variability of such toxins have made it difficult to develop reliable methods to routinely monitor CFP with specificity and sensitivity. This review aims to describe [...] Read more.
Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) occurs mainly when humans ingest finfish contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). The complexity and variability of such toxins have made it difficult to develop reliable methods to routinely monitor CFP with specificity and sensitivity. This review aims to describe the methodologies available for CTX detection, including those based on the toxicological, biochemical, chemical, and pharmaceutical properties of CTXs. Selecting any of these methodological approaches for routine monitoring of ciguatera may be dependent upon the applicability of the method. However, identifying a reference validation method for CTXs is a critical and urgent issue, and is dependent upon the availability of certified CTX standards and the coordinated action of laboratories. Reports of CFP cases in European hospitals have been described in several countries, and are mostly due to travel to CFP endemic areas. Additionally, the recent detection of the CTX-producing tropical genus Gambierdiscus in the eastern Atlantic Ocean of the northern hemisphere and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the confirmation of CFP in the Canary Islands and possibly in Madeira, constitute other reasons to study the onset of CFP in Europe [1]. The question of the possible contribution of climate change to the distribution of toxin-producing microalgae and ciguateric fish is raised. The impact of ciguatera onset on European Union (EU) policies will be discussed with respect to EU regulations on marine toxins in seafood. Critical analysis and availability of methodologies for CTX determination is required for a rapid response to suspected CFP cases and to conduct sound CFP risk analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds)
Open AccessReview Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(4), 1122-1152; doi:10.3390/md8041122
Received: 10 February 2010 / Revised: 15 March 2010 / Accepted: 30 March 2010 / Published: 4 April 2010
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (381 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained [...] Read more.
The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds)
Open AccessReview Targets and Effects of Yessotoxin, Okadaic Acid and Palytoxin: A Differential Review
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(3), 658-677; doi:10.3390/md8030658
Received: 8 January 2010 / Revised: 9 February 2010 / Accepted: 10 February 2010 / Published: 16 March 2010
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we focus on processes, organs and systems targeted by the marine toxins yessotoxin (YTX), okadaic acid (OA) and palytoxin (PTX). The effects of YTX and their basis are analyzed from data collected in the mollusc Mytilus galloprovincialis, the [...] Read more.
In this review, we focus on processes, organs and systems targeted by the marine toxins yessotoxin (YTX), okadaic acid (OA) and palytoxin (PTX). The effects of YTX and their basis are analyzed from data collected in the mollusc Mytilus galloprovincialis, the annelid Enchytraeus crypticus, Swiss CD1 mice and invertebrate and vertebrate cell cultures. OA and PTX, two toxins with a better established mode of action, are analyzed with regard to their effects on development. The amphibian Xenopus laevis is used as a model, and the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX) as the experimental protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds)

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