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Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

The cytotoxic mechanism of karlotoxin 2 (KmTx 2) from Karlodinium veneficum (Dinophyceae).


PMID 25546005

Abstract

This study demonstrates that the polyketide toxin karlotoxin 2 (KmTx 2) produced by Karlodinium veneficum, a dinoflagellate associated with fish kills in temperate estuaries world-wide, alters vertebrate cell membrane permeability. Microfluorimetric and electrophysiological measurements were used to determine that vertebrate cellular toxicity occurs through non-selective permeabilization of plasma membranes, leading to osmotic cell lysis. Previous studies showed that KmTx 2 is lethal to fish at naturally-occurring concentrations measured during fish kills, while sub-lethal doses severely damage gill epithelia. This study provides a mechanistic explanation for the association between K. veneficum blooms and fish kills that has long been observed in temperate estuaries worldwide.