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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 2-3, pp. 325-336

Toxins from Adriatic blue mussels. A decade of studies

Patrizia Ciminiello, Carmela Dell'Aversano, Ernesto Fattorusso, Martino Forino and Silvana Magno

Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Università di Napoli “Federico II”, via D. Montesano, 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy

Abstract: A research program was initiated in 1990 to carefully examine the toxin profiles in mussels from the northern Adriatic Sea. Since then, a number of polyether toxins have been isolated and characterized, some of which represent new additions to the diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) class of biotoxins and seem to be peculiar to the Adriatic Sea. During our investigation of toxic Adriatic mussels, we also isolated a new type of toxin, whose structure was elucidated by extensive use of 1D and 2D NMR techniques. Some of them could represent a further alarm for public health owing to their cytotoxic activity. The recent application of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methods for detection of Adriatic marine biotoxins allowed us to hasten the analysis of toxic samples and to advance effective structural hypothesis even when full structure elucidation of new toxins by NMR spectroscopy is hampered by the limited amount of available material.