Gonyautoxin is a phytotoxin with paralyzing effects produced by several flagellate protists, called dinoflagellates. Included in the group of saxitoxin-related chemical compounds,Gonyautoxin is specifically produced by Gonyaulax catenella, Gonyaulax tamarensis, and some other Protogonyaulax species. Usually, this compound is isolated from shellfish and, along with Saxitoxin, is the neurotoxin responsible for shellfish poisoning.

This potentially dangerous organic compound can be chemically classified into the aliphatic heteropolycyclic compounds super-class and further into the Saxitoxins,Gonyautoxins, and derivatives class. Considered a toxic substance as-is, Gonyautoxin is usually found in the cytoplasm and the extracellular fluid. Its predicted physico-chemical properties include a water solubility value of 3.05 g/L and a polar surface area. Other properties, such as the melting or boiling point have not been studied in depth yet.

Although at certain doses Gonyautoxin can be lethal, in extremely low doses it is considered to be highly beneficial in treating a few health conditions. Its high toxicity, and the cause of toxin-induced acute paralytic illness, is due to a reversible bind to receptor sites that are located on the voltage-gated sodium channel on excitable cells, phenomenon that causes a block in neuronal transmission. Thus, applying small amounts of paralyzing Gonyautoxin to restricted areas will lead to a temporary paralysis of the striated muscle in question, the effect being dependent on the dose.

Gonyautoxin has mainly been used for medical purposes, in treating acute and chronic anal fissures. The paralytic action of the toxin was used for relieving the major symptoms of anal fissures, such as permanent pain, intense pain that accompanies the defecation process, and sphincter cramps. For example, the patients who participated in a study were administered doses of 100 units of Gonyautoxin in volumes of 1 ml. These were infiltrated into the sides of the anal fissure. The study showed that total remission of both acute and chronic fissures was achieved within up to 28 days.

Gonyautoxin was also used for treating chronic tension-type headaches. Patients who experienced this type of headaches for more than 15 days a month were locally injected with 50 micrograms of Gonyautoxin. The patients who underwent this form of treatment reported a significant decrease in pain and frequency of headache episodes. Also, no side effects were reported during the follow-up period. It was concluded that over 70 percent of the patients treated with Gonyautoxin have responded very well to the treatment.

If your studies or interests require the use of these, or related, toxins please contact the IsoSciences staff. IsoSciences supplies CertiMass solutions of Saxitoxin for analytical and R&D purposes and we may already have the labeled toxin available in our synthetic database and catalog. We can discuss how the IsoSciences chemists can work with your team to custom synthesize a new material should it be required.

You are also welcome to review our online catalog of related molecules utilized for related research and assay standards. The catalog can also be downloaded for easy reference.