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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1985 Apr;76(4):257-9.

A blue-green alga from Okinawa contains aplysiatoxins, the third class of tumor promoters.


The causative agents of swimmer's itch were isolated from the marine blue-green alga, Lyngbya majuscula, which grows off the coast of the Okinawa islands, Japan. Nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectral studies revealed that these agents were identical with aplysiatoxin and debromoaplysiatoxin, which were previously shown to be the causative agents of swimmer's itch in Hawaii. Aplysiatoxin and debromoaplysiatoxin were recently found to be potent tumor promoters in two-stage carcinogenesis in mouse skin. This is the first report that humans are directly affected by these potent environmental tumor promoters in Japan.

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