Biochemical and molecular characterisation of cubozoan protein toxins

Brinkman, Diane L., and Burnell, James N. (2009) Biochemical and molecular characterisation of cubozoan protein toxins. Toxicon, 54 (8). pp. 1162-1173.

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Class Cubozoa includes several species of box jellyfish that are harmful to humans. The venoms of box jellyfish are stored and discharged by nematocysts and contain a variety of bioactive proteins that are cytolytic, cytotoxic, inflammatory or lethal. Although cubozoan venoms generally share similar biological activities, the diverse range and severity of effects caused by different species indicate that their venoms vary in protein composition, activity and potency. To date, few individual venom proteins have been thoroughly characterised, however, accumulating evidence suggests that cubozoan jellyfish produce at least one group of homologous bioactive proteins that are labile, basic, haemolytic and similar in molecular mass (42–46 kDa). The novel box jellyfish toxins are also potentially lethal and the cause of cutaneous pain, inflammation and necrosis, similar to that observed in envenomed humans. Secondary structure analysis and remote protein homology predictions suggest that the box jellyfish toxins may act as α-pore-forming toxins. However, more research is required to elucidate their structures and investigate their mechanism(s) of action. The biological, biochemical and molecular characteristics of cubozoan venoms and their bioactive protein components are reviewed, with particular focus on cubozoan cytolysins and the newly emerging family of box jellyfish toxins.

Item ID: 4774
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3150
Keywords: jellyfish; nematocysts; venom; cytolysin; cytotoxic; toxin; haemolysis
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2010 23:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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