Palytoxin

Palytoxin is an intense vasodilator, and is considered to be one of the most toxic non-peptide substances known, second only to maitotoxin in terms of toxicity in mice. Palytoxin is a natural compound that is produced by several marine species and can be found in many more species due to accumulation. Palytoxin was originally isolated in 1971 in Hawaii from the seaweed-like coral "Limu make o hana (Seaweed of Death from Hana)". Later, in 1982 its full chemical structure was published by Daisuke Uemura and co-workers at Nagoya University. Yoshito Kishi's group at Harvard University first synthesized palytoxin in 1994. Palytoxin targets the sodium-potassium pump protein by binding to the molecule in such a way that the molecule is locked in a position where it allows passive transport of both the sodium and potassium ions, thereby destroying the ion gradient that is essential for most cells. Because palytoxin affects every cell in the body, the symptoms are very different for the different ways of exposure. The most common way of exposure in humans is oral. The onset of symptoms in a palytoxin poisoning is rapid, and death usually follows quickly.

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Zoantharia - Dangers
... Some zoanthids contain the highly toxic substance palytoxin ... Palytoxin is one of the most toxic organic substances in the world, but there is an ongoing debate over the concentration of this toxin in these animals ... Contrary to common belief, palytoxin can be absorbed through intact skin ...