12 Facts About Anatoxin-a


Anatoxin-a, known as Very Fast Death Factor, is a secondary, bicyclic amine alkaloid and cyanotoxin with acute neurotoxicity.

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Anatoxin-a is not to be confused with guanitoxin, another potent cyanotoxin that has a similar mechanism of action to that of anatoxin-a and is produced by many of the same cyanobacteria genera, but is structurally unrelated.

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Anatoxin-a is a neurotoxin produced by multiple genera of freshwater cyanobacteria that are found in water bodies globally.

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Anatoxin-a producing cyanobacteria have been found in soils and aquatic plants.

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Anatoxin-a induced depolarizing neuromuscular blockade, contracture of the frog's rectus abdominis muscle, depolarization of the frog sartorius muscle, desensitization, and alteration of the action potential.

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Anatoxin-a is an agonist of both neuronal a4ß2 and a4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors present in the CNS as well as the 2ß?d muscle-type nAchRs that are present at the neuromuscular junction.

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Anatoxin-a binding to these nAchRs cause the same effects in neurons.

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Anatoxin-a is synthesized in vivo in the species Anabaena flos aquae, as well as several other genera of cyanobacteria.

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Anatoxin-a and related chemical structures are produced using acetate and glutamate.

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Anatoxin-a is suspected to have been involved in the death of at least one person.

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Anatoxin-a is not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, but states are allowed to create their own standards for contaminants that are unregulated.

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Anatoxin-a is a very powerful nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist and as such has been extensively studied for medicinal purposes.

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