Structurally unique neurotoxins produced by the "red tide" dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis Davis (Gymnodinium breve Davis). An algae responsible for large fish kills and mollusk and human food poisoning in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Florida coast. Unlike previously isolated dinoflagellate toxins, such as saxitoxin, which are water-soluble sodium channel blockers, the brevotoxins are lipid-soluble sodium channel activators. Used as tools in neurobiological research.
(05 Mar 2000)
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