Non-peptide molecules in the pedicellariae of Toxopneustes roseus

Toxicon. 2020 Sep;184:143-151. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.06.002. Epub 2020 Jun 6.


Toxopneustes roseus is a species of sea urchin with a wide distribution along the eastern Pacific coast. It belongs to the Toxopneustidae family and, like its members, has well-developed globiferous pedicellariae that exert a variety of pharmacological actions. We identified six volatile non-peptide molecules from its globiferous pedicellariae by using GC-MS and RP-HPLC-MS/MS, including: benzoic acid; 2-aminoethanol (MEA); 2-(dimethylamine) ethanol (DMAE); 1- (4-bromophenyl)-1-phenylethanol (BPPE); 2-[1-(4-bromophenyl)-1- phenylethoxy]-N,N-dimethylethanamine (EMB); and 2-[1-(4-chlorphenyl)-1- phenylethoxy]-N,N-dimethylethanamine (CLX). The construction of a pharmacophore model and the in silico molecular docking of EMB and CLX into the human voltage-gated sodium channel hNaV1.7 allowed establishing that these molecules are structurally similar to local anesthetics and other NaV channel blockers and can bind to the same site receptor in NaV channels; suggesting that both molecules are active components in T. roseus venom. Furthermore, a viable endogenous biopathway is proposed in which T. roseus can synthesize EMB and CLX from benzoic acid, MEA, DMAE, and BPPE as their precursors, which would emphasize the importance of these molecules in the metabolism of this sea urchin.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Sea Urchins*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Venoms*


  • Venoms