This page and its links are still under construction.

The first scientific report of the potent toxicity of cyanobacterial blooms was made in Nature by Francis in 1878. The author reported that stock deaths had occurred as a result of drinking from a bloom infested lake in Australia. The organism resposible for this bloom was later described as Nodularia spumigena and the toxin has since been isolated and characterised (Rinehart et al. , 1988) as Nodularin.

The structure of nodularin is related to the potent cyclic heptapeptide hepatotoxins, the microcystins, but differs in that nodularin is composed of only five amino acids in the peptide ring. Not only are the stucture of these two cyanobacterial toxins similar, but they both show the same hepatotoxic effect through the potent inhibition of protein phosphatases and similar IC50 and LD50 values.
A diagram of nodularin

All molecular structures have been drawn using ISIS/Draw.

This archival page is no longer updated. The current equivalent page is here.