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The Bacterial (Vibrio alginolyticus) Production of Tetrodotoxin in the Ribbon Worm Lineus longissimus-Just a False Positive?

Journal article
Authors M. Strand
M. Hedstrom
Henrik Seth
E. G. McEvoy
E. Jacobsson
U. Goransson
H. S. Andersson
Per Sundberg
Published in Marine Drugs
Volume 14
Issue 4
ISSN 1660-3397
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Keywords LC-MS, mucus, axonal conductance, Vibrio, nemertean, tetrodotoxin, gated sodium-channels, hiroshima prefecture, cephalothrix-simula, puffer, fishes, japan, bay, platyhelminthes, polycladida, substances, toxicity, Pharmacology & Pharmacy, yazawa k, 1988, toxicon, v26, p867, llens me, 1992, proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of
Subject categories Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


We test previous claims that the bacteria Vibrio alginolyticus produces tetrodotoxin (TTX) when living in symbiosis with the nemertean Lineus longissimus by a setup with bacteria cultivation for TTX production. Toxicity experiments on the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, demonstrated the presence of a paralytic toxin, but evidence from LC-MS and electrophysiological measurements of voltage-gated sodium channel-dependent nerve conductance in maleWistar rat tissue showed conclusively that this effect did not originate from TTX. However, a compound of similar molecular weight was found, albeit apparently non-toxic, and with different LC retention time and MS/MS fragmentation pattern than those of TTX. We conclude that C. maenas paralysis and death likely emanate from a compound <5 kDa, and via a different mechanism of action than that of TTX. The similarity in mass between TTX and the Vibrio-produced low-molecular-weight, non-toxic compound invokes that thorough analysis is required when assessing TTX production. Based on our findings, we suggest that re-examination of some published claims of TTX production may be warranted.

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