Antillatoxin is a marine cyanobacterial toxin that potently activates voltage-gated sodium channels

W. I. Li, F. W. Berman, T. Okino, F. Yokokawa, T. Shioiri, W. H. Gerwick, T. F. Murray

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Antillatoxin (ATX) is a lipopeptide derived from the pantropical marine cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. ATX is neurotoxic in primary cultures of rat cerebellar granule cells, and this neuronal death is prevented by either N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists or tetrodotoxin. To further explore the potential interaction of ATX with voltage-gated sodium channels, we assessed the influence of tetrodotoxin on ATX-induced Ca2+ influx in cerebellar granule cells. The rapid increase in intracellular Ca2+ produced by ATX (100 nM) was antagonized in a concentration-dependent manner by tetrodotoxin. Additional, more direct, evidence for an interaction with voltage-gated sodium channels was derived from the ATX-induced allosteric enhancement of [3H]batrachotoxin binding to neurotoxin site 2 of the α subunit of the sodium channel. ATX, moreover, produced a strong synergistic stimulation of [3H]batrachotoxin binding in combination with brevetoxin, which is a ligand for neurotoxin site 5 on the voltage-gated sodium channel. Positive allosteric interactions were not observed between ATX and either α-scorpion toxin or the pyrethroid deltamethrin. That ATX interaction with voltage-gated sodium channels produces a gain of function was demonstrated by the concentration-dependent and tetrodotoxin-sensitive stimulation of 22Na+ influx in cerebellar granule cells exposed to ATX. Together these results demonstrate that the lipopeptide ATX is an activator of voltage-gated sodium channels. The neurotoxic actions of ATX therefore resemble those of brevetoxins that produce neural insult through depolarization-evoked Na+ load, glutamate release, relief of Mg2+ block of NMDA receptors, and Ca2 + influx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7599-7604
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 19 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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