Lophotoxin: a novel neuromuscular toxin from Pacific sea whips of the genus Lophogorgia

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Science  26 Jun 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4502, pp. 1512-1514
DOI: 10.1126/science.6112796


A new neuromuscular toxin, lophotoxin, has been isolated from several pacific gorgonians of the genus Lophogorgia. The structure of lophotoxin was deduced by combined spectrochemical methods, and belongs to the well-known cembrene class of diterpenoid molecules. Lophotoxin contains furanoaldehyde and alpha, beta-epoxy-gamma-lactone functional groups, in sharp contrast to the cationic ammonium functional groups of the established neurotoxins.