Unique toxin profile of a Mediterranean Ostreopsis cf. ovata strain: HR LC-MS(n) characterization of ovatoxin-f, a new palytoxin congener

Patrizia Ciminiello, Carmela Dell'Aversano, Emma Dello Iacovo, Ernesto Fattorusso, Martino Forino, Luciana Tartaglione, Cecilia Battocchi, Rita Crinelli, Elisa Carloni, Mauro Magnani, Antonella Penna
Chemical Research in Toxicology 2012 June 18, 25 (6): 1243-52
Currently, the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata represents a serious concern to human health in the whole Mediterranean basin due to the production of palytoxin congeners, a putative palytoxin and ovatoxins (ovatoxin-a, -b, -c, -d/-e), listed among the most potent marine toxins. High resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HR LC-MS) based investigation of a North Western Adriatic strain of Ostreopsis cf. ovata collected at Portonovo (Italy) in 2008 is reported herein. Toxin profile was different from those previously reported for other O. cf. ovata, both qualitatively and quantitatively. For the first time, ovatoxin-a did not dominate the toxin profile, and a new palytoxin congener, here named ovatoxin-f, was detected. Ovatoxin-f and its elemental formula present C(2)H(4) more than ovatoxin-a. HR CID MS(n) experiments allowed us to restrict structural differences between ovatoxin-a and -f to the region between C-95 and C-102, a region not previously been described to be modified in other palytoxins. Ovatoxin-f represents the major component of the toxin profile of the analyzed strain accounting for 50% of the total toxin content, while ovatoxin-a, the dominant toxin in most of the Mediterranean O. cf. ovata strains we have analyzed so far, is the second major component of the toxin profile (23%). Thus, the presence of ovatoxin-f should be taken into account when monitoring programs for palytoxin-like compounds in microalgae and/or seawater are carried out.

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