Azaspiracid: First evidence of protein binding in shellfish

K.J. Nzoughet, John Hamilton, Donna Floyd, Anne Douglas, John Nelson, Patricia Devine, Christopher Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of azaspiracid (AZA) toxins in contaminated shellfish has been the focus of much research. The present study investigated the binding properties of these toxins in mussels of the species Mytilus edulis. The work involved extraction of proteins and AZAs from contaminated mussel hepatopancreas and examination of the extracts by isoelectric focusing (IEF), size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and sodium docecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE). Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC–MS/MS) was also performed in this study to identify AZAs. Blank mussels were subjected to the same purification and analytical procedures.

AZAs were found to be weakly bound to a protein with a molecular weight of 45 kDa, in samples of contaminated mussels. This protein, which was abundant in contaminated mussels, was also present in blank mussels, albeit at much lower concentrations. It was further noted that a 22 kDa protein was also present only in contaminated mussel samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1263
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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