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CAS number 59392-53-9
Molecular formula C164H256O68S2Na2
Molar mass 3422 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Maitotoxin or MTX is an extremely potent toxin produced by Gambierdiscus toxicus, a dinoflagellate species partially responsible for the phenomenon known as red tide. Maitotoxin is so potent that it has been demonstrated that an intraperitoneal injection of 0.13 µg/kg was lethal in mice.[1]

Maitotoxin activates Ca2+ permeable, non-selective cation channels, leading to an increase in levels of cytosolic Ca2+ ions. It is thought that maitotoxin leads to the formation of pores on these ion channels. Ultimately, a cell death cascade is activated, resulting in membrane blebbing and eventually cell lysis.

The molecule itself exists as a system of 32 fused rings. It is notable because it is one of the largest, and most complex, non-protein molecules produced by an organism. Its structure was established through analysis using nuclear magnetic resonance at Tohoku University, Harvard and the University of Tokyo.


    1. ^ Yokoyama, A et al (1988). "Some Chemical Properties of Maitotoxin, a Putative Calcium Channel Agonist Isolated from a Marine Dinoflagellate". J. Biochem 104 (2): 184-187. ISSN: 0021-924X.
    2. ^ Estacion, M and Schilling, WP (2001). "Maitotoxin-induced membrane blebbing and cell death in bovine aortic endothelial cells". BMC Physiology 1 (2). doi:10.1186/1472-6793-1-2.
    3. ^ Murata, M et al (2001). "Structure and partial stereochemical assignments for maitotoxin, the most toxic and largest natural non-biopolymer". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116 (16): 7098-7107.
    4. ^ Sasaki, M et al (1996). "The complete structure of maitotoxin, I; Configuration of the C1-C14 side chain". Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 35: 1672-1675. ISSN: 0570-0833.
    5. ^ Kishi, Y (1998). "Complete structure of maitotoxin". Pure & Appl. Chem. 70 (2): 339-344.
    6. ^ Jones, Matland (2004). Organic Chemistry, Third Edition. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0393924084. 
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Maitotoxin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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