Specialists in Stable Isotope & Metabolite Synthesis

ISO 9001

Saxitoxin | Gonyautoxin | Marine Toxins

Recently IsoSciences has focused on the manufacture and development of complete syntheses of numerous marine toxins including gonyautoxin (CAS 60508-89-6 ; 60537-65-7, tetrodotoxin (CAS 4368-28-9) and saxitoxin (CAS 35523-89-8), along with related derivatives. Availability of stable isotope labeled versions of these toxins is critical for the development of analytical and diagnostic assays by LC/MS.

Gonyautoxin UnlabeledTo assist studies that focus on the presence of these toxins in our food chain IsoSciences has developed stable isotope labeled derivatives in certified solutions (CertiMass) as well as solid form in order to create extremely sensitive mass spectrometric analysis tools. Both stable-isotope labeled and non-labeled saxitoxin derivatives are available to support these studies.

IsoSciences interest in developing molecules of this nature stems from the increasing interest in the multitude of natural product chemistries found in ocean plant and animal life. These sources provide compounds with a lot of potential for disease prevention. In addition, the sometimes lead to cures and, not uncommonly, may be in the form of a toxin. A great example of this is Gonyautoxin. At certain doses this algae-produced toxin is lethal, yet when used at extremely low doses can be used to heal certain medical conditions.

The potential reward associated with marine biochemistries has led to a surge in the study of various aspects of shellfish byproduct, fish and mammal skins/cells and relevant ocean fauna. However, in recent times a lot of concern has been raised over the presence of specific toxins in shellfish that finds its way into mainstream food supplies and can ultimately cause sickness within the human population. One Saxitoxin 15N4particular example of this was the large scale mortality of Hump Back Whales that initially was blamed on pollution in the late 1980's. After further investigation and major poisonings of human population it was determined that the root cause was not directly pollution, but a set of algae-based biotoxins - the most famous, and likely significant, member being Saxitoxin. The shellfish that consumed the Saxitoxin-rich algae would ultimately concentrate the toxin within its edible structure and when consumed would cause potentially lethal poisoning of the consumer. Often times these algae will suddenly bloom in nutrient rich coastal waters resulting in infamous “Red Tides”.

In the left figure we have outlined a nitrogen-15 labeled derivative of saxitoxin that would represent four additional mass units versus the unlabeled form. This 15N4 labeled standard will allow for exact quantification of saxitoxin levels by mass spectrometry. This newly available labeled standard will allow for the most sensitive and accurate analytical assay available.

If your studies or interests require the use of these, or related, toxins please contact the IsoSciences staff. We may already have the labeled toxin available in our synthetic database and catalog, else we can discuss how the IsoSciences chemists we can work with your team to custom synthesize a new material.

You are also welcome to review our online catalog of related molecules utilized for related research and assay standards. The catalog can also be downloaded for easy reference.


Saxitoxin | Gonyautoxin | Marine Toxins