Keywords: Batrachotoxin, radical mediated reaction, nBu3SnH, AIBN, alkynyl stannanes.
The famous neurotoxin batrachotoxin 1 is a member of a family of steroidal alkaloids called batrachotoxins.
Batrachotoxin 1 tends to affect the nervous system by causing the irreversible opening of Na+ channels in the nerves causing a change in ion selectivity of the ion channel by increasing the permeability of the channel toward larger cations, which results in depolarization of nerves leading to failure of nerve impulse transmission .
The name batrachotoxin is derived from the Greek "batrachos," meaning frog.
Batrachotoxin blocks neuromuscular transmission irreversibly.
Batrachotoxins (BTX-A, batrachotoxin and homobatrachotoxin) can be identified using HPLC-MS and as dialkylpyrrole carboxylates (batrachotoxin and homobatrachotoxin) that can be detected by a sensitive Ehrlich's reaction.
Some alkaloids, such as batrachotoxin
, have helped neurobiologists study sodium channels -- molecular pores in nerve cell membranes that help control the excitation of nerve cells.
These beetles, each only about 7 millimeters long, live in the same regions as the birds do and carry batrachotoxins, Dumbacher and his colleagues report in the Nov.
The batrachotoxins are "very rare compounds, and they occur spottily in nature," he says.
Chemists Thomas Spande and John Daly of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and their colleagues figured out in 1992 that the birds carry steroids called batrachotoxins, which were first identified in the 1960s as poisons in some frog skins.
At the time, the alkaloids, called batrachotoxins, had been found in only one other source in nature, the Phyllobates poison dart frogs on the other side of the world--in Colombia and Panama.
Batrachotoxins sabotage the sodium channels employed by nerve cells.