Puffer fish saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin binding protein (PSTBP) is a glycoprotein (200 kDa as a dimer) that we previously isolated from the plasma of Fugu pardalis (Yotsu-Yamashita et al., 2001). For the study on functions of PSTBP, here we examined distribution of homologous proteins to PSTBP in the plasma of seven species of puffer fish, and among the tissues of F. pardalis by Western blot analysis probed with a polyclonal IgG against unglycosylated PSTBP1 expressed in Echelichia coli. One or two major positive broad bands were detected at 105-140 kDa molecular weight range in the plasma (0.5 μg protein) of all species of puffer fish tested, while no band was detected in the plasma (5 μg protein) of fish other than puffer fish. Glycopeptidase F treated plasma of all species of puffer fish tested commonly showed the bands at approximately 42 kDa that was consistent to the molecular weight of unglycosylated PSTBP. These data suggest that puffer fish commonly possess glycoproteins homologous to PSTBP, but the sizes of N-glycan are specific to the species. Among soluble protein extracts (5 μg protein) from the tissues of F. pardalis, PSTBP was detected in all tissues examined, most prominently in heart, skin, and gall.
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