, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1757-1770

Isolation, Characterization, and Quantitative Analysis of Microviridin J, a New Microcystis Metabolite Toxic to Daphnia

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This paper describes the purification and characterization of microviridin J, a newly discovered metabolite of Microcystis that causes a lethal molting disruption in Daphnia spp., upon ingestion of living cyanobacterial cells. Microviridin J consists of an acetylated chain of 13 amino acids arranged in three rings and two side chains. Unlike other known isoforms of microviridin, microviridin J contains arginine that imparts a unique solution conformation characterized by proximal hydrophobic interactions between Arg and other regions of the molecule. This eventually results in the formation and stabilization of an additional ring system. Microviridin J potently inhibits porcine trypsin, bovine chymotrypsin, and daphnid trypsin-like proteases. The activity against trypsin is most likely due to Arg and its distinctive conformational interactions. Overall, the data presented for microviridin J emphasize once again the ability of cyanobacteria to produce numerous and potent environmental toxins.