Isolation and purification of tetrodotoxin from a marine bacteria takifugu ocellatus

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Tetrodotoxin, TTX, Takifugu ocellatus


Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a deadly non-protein neurotoxin and a well-known sodium channel blocker, but it is also a potent analgesic and an effective non-opioid (non-addictive) local anesthetic with a quick onset time. TTX is now being explored as a novel pharmaceutical drug. Clinical trials of using TTX as a pain killer for cancer patients and a withdrawal formulation for heroin addicts are undergoing. Moreover, published reports show that TTX can suppress prostate cancer cells from metastasizing. Thus, the development of TTX as a novel marine bioactive drug has promising application potential and imminent significance. To date, numerous experiment evidence points out that TTX is synthesized by the puffer fish-associated microbes before accumulating in the fish. However, the in vitro production of TTX by the isolated TTX-producing bacteria has been limited to only nanogram level. Hence, we hypothesized that TTX production is likely relying on a mixed microbial community, in which some strains might be non-cultivable by traditional methods, The study investigated production of TTX by the consortium of the intestinal microbiota of a toxic puffer fish species, Takifugu ocellatus in a fermentation approach. TTX was isolated and purified from the fermentation broth by resin chromatography, which was detected by mouse bioassay and LC-MS/MS.

Source Publication

3rd Fisheries and Aquaculture Conference, May 2017, Hangzhou, China

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