Marine Protein Toxins

  • Hiroshi Nagai
Reference work entry


Many marine animals produce protein toxins that are used for both predation and protection from predators. It is known that venomous stings by specific fish and jellyfish are sometimes fatal. For many years, detailed characterization of the causative toxins has been hampered by their instability. In recent years, various protein toxins have been successfully isolated and characterized from marine venomous animals. These studies have revealed that marine protein toxins exhibit unique structures and biological activities. A novel protein toxin family from the box jellyfish, the membrane-attack complex/perforin (MACPF) protein toxins isolated from the sea anemone, DNase II toxins from the starfish, and a dermatopontin family toxin from fire coral are representatives of some of these unique toxins. In this chapter, the most current studies on protein toxins isolated from marine venomous animals are discussed.


Protein Toxin Peptide Toxin Fire Coral Scorpion Fish Proteinaceous Toxin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author thanks Okinawa Prefectural Institute of Health and Environment for the courtesy of the photographs.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean ScienceTokyo University of Marine Science and TechnologyMinato-kuJapan

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