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, 39 (9), 1297-307

Electrophysiological and Hemolytic Activity Elicited by the Venom of the Jellyfish Cassiopea Xamachana

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Electrophysiological and Hemolytic Activity Elicited by the Venom of the Jellyfish Cassiopea Xamachana

M Torres et al. Toxicon.

Abstract

In this study, we determined hemolysis activity in human and sheep erythrocytes, and characterized the electrical responses in Xenopus oocyte membrane elicited by the venom of the jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana (Cx). The Cx venom produced hemolysis in both species, being more potent on human red cells. The electrophysiological study showed that the Cx venom elicited three different responses in the oocytes. One current was generated in all the oocytes tested and corresponded with a slow inward current (I(Cx)) associated with an increase in membrane conductance. I(Cx) was concentration-dependent and had a reversal potential of -10.3+/-0.4 mV. Ionic substitution studies indicated that the conductive pathway was mainly permeable to cations and non-selective. The oocyte membrane resistance was completely recovered after washout of the venom, this suggested that the effect was due to generation of a specific membrane conductance as opposed to a possible non-specific membrane breakdown. A comparative study with three distinct native cationic channels present in the oocyte membrane [i.e. (1) hemi-gap-junction channels, (2) mechanosensitive channels, and (3) the ouabain-sensitive channel activated by palytoxin], showed that I(Cx) might correspond to opening of mechanosensitive channels or to activation of an unknown cationic channel located in the oocyte membrane. The bioactive fraction eliciting I(Cx) were peptides and was separated from two other peptidic hemolytic fractions by chromatography.

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