Tectin is the brand name of a pain killing drug currently in development by WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. that is derived from the pufferfish. The drug comes from a toxin in the fish called tetrodotoxin, a very potent neurotoxin which shuts down electrical signaling in nerves by binding to the pores of sodium channel proteins in nerve cell membranes. It holds promise to relieve severe pain when other standard pain relievers are found to be ineffective. It is also being researched as a drug to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal in opiate addicts.
Tectin is an organic substance secreted by certain ciliate protozoans (Protozoa). See, for example, the review by Dovgal (2002, Protistology 2: 193-272) and Hyman (1940, The Invertebrates: Protozoa through ctenophora, McGraw-Hill). The tectin may form an adhesive stalk, disc or other sticky secretion. Tectin may also form a gelatinous envelope or membrane enclosing some ciliates as a protective capsule or lorica. Tectin is also called pseudochitin. Granules or rods (called protrichocysts) in the pellicle of some ciliates are also thought to be involved in tectin secretion.
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