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Toxins, Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 67 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The species classification of Cambodian freshwater pufferfish is incomplete and confusing, and scientific information on their toxicity and toxin profile is limited. In this study, we conducted simultaneous genetic-based phylogenetic and toxin analyses using two different Cambodian freshwater pufferfish populations. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that they are different species in the genus Pao (Pao sp. A and Pao sp. B), and a partial sequence of the nuclear tributyltin-binding protein type 2 (TBT-bp2) gene differentiated the species at the amino acid level. Both species possess saxitoxins (STXs), but the toxin concentration in each tissue of Pao sp. A was much higher than that of Pao sp. B. The difference in the STX accumulation ability between the two species with different TBT-bp2 sequences suggests that TBT-bp2 is involved in STX accumulation in freshwater pufferfish. View this [...] Read more.
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Article
Single-Dose Toxicity of Individual and Combined Sterigmatocystin and 5-Methoxysterigmatocistin in Rat Lungs
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 734; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110734 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Sterigmatocystin (STC) and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (5-M-STC) are mycotoxins produced by common damp indoor Aspergilli series Versicolores. Since both STC and 5-M-STC were found in the dust of indoor occupational and living areas, their occupants may be exposed to these mycotoxins, primarily by inhalation. [...] Read more.
Sterigmatocystin (STC) and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (5-M-STC) are mycotoxins produced by common damp indoor Aspergilli series Versicolores. Since both STC and 5-M-STC were found in the dust of indoor occupational and living areas, their occupants may be exposed to these mycotoxins, primarily by inhalation. Thus, STC and 5-M-STC were intratracheally instilled in male Wistar rats using doses (0.3 mg STC/kg of lung weight (l.w.); 3.6 mg 5-M-STC/kg l.w.; toxin combination 0.3 + 3.6 mg/kg l.w.) that corresponded to concentrations detected in the dust of damp indoor areas in order to explore cytotoxicity, vascular permeability, immunomodulation and genotoxicity. Single mycotoxins and their combinations insignificantly altered lactate-dehydrogenase activity, albumin, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α and chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1α concentrations, as measured by ELISA in bronchioalveolar lavage fluid upon 24 h of treatment. In an alkaline comet assay, both mycotoxins provoked a similar intensity of DNA damage in rat lungs, while in a neutral comet assay, only 5-M-STC evoked significant DNA damage. Hence, naturally occurring concentrations of individual STC may induce DNA damage in rat lungs, in which single DNA strand breaks prevail, while 5-M-STC was more responsible for double-strand breaks. In both versions of the comet assay treatment with STC + 5-M-STC, less DNA damage intensity occurred compared to single mycotoxin treatment, suggesting an antagonistic genotoxic action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Article
Chemical and Biological Study of Novel Aplysiatoxin Derivatives from the Marine Cyanobacterium Lyngbya sp.
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 733; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110733 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 647
Abstract
Since 1970s, aplysiatoxins (ATXs), a class of biologically active dermatoxins, were identified from the marine mollusk Stylocheilus longicauda, whilst further research indicated that ATXs were originally metabolized by cyanobacteria. So far, there have been 45 aplysiatoxin derivatives discovered from marine cyanobacteria with [...] Read more.
Since 1970s, aplysiatoxins (ATXs), a class of biologically active dermatoxins, were identified from the marine mollusk Stylocheilus longicauda, whilst further research indicated that ATXs were originally metabolized by cyanobacteria. So far, there have been 45 aplysiatoxin derivatives discovered from marine cyanobacteria with various geographies. Recently, we isolated two neo-debromoaplysiatoxins, neo-debromoaplysiatoxin G (1) and neo-debromoaplysiatoxin H (2) from the cyanobacterium Lyngbya sp. collected from the South China Sea. The freeze-dried cyanobacterium was extracted with liquid–liquid extraction of organic solvents, and then was subjected to multiple chromatographies to yield neo-debromoaplysiatoxin G (1) (3.6 mg) and neo-debromoaplysiatoxin H (2) (4.3 mg). They were elucidated with spectroscopic methods. Moreover, the brine shrimp toxicity of the aplysiatoxin derivatives representing differential structural classifications indicated that the debromoaplysiatoxin was the most toxic compound (half inhibitory concentration (IC50) value = 0.34 ± 0.036 µM). While neo-aplysiatoxins (neo-ATXs) did not exhibit apparent brine shrimp toxicity, but showed potent blocking action against potassium channel Kv1.5, likewise, compounds 1 and 2 with IC50 values of 1.79 ± 0.22 µM and 1.46 ± 0.14 µM, respectively. Therefore, much of the current knowledge suggests the ATXs with different structure modifications may modulate multiple cellular signaling processes in animal systems leading to the harmful effects on public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Article
Effects of Single and Repeated Oral Doses of Ochratoxin A on the Lipid Peroxidation and Antioxidant Defense Systems in Mouse Kidneys
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 732; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110732 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 791
Abstract
Ochratoxin-A (OTA) is a carcinogenic and nephrotoxic mycotoxin, which may cause health problems in humans and animals, and it is a contaminant in foods and feeds. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effect of oral OTA exposure on the [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin-A (OTA) is a carcinogenic and nephrotoxic mycotoxin, which may cause health problems in humans and animals, and it is a contaminant in foods and feeds. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effect of oral OTA exposure on the antioxidant defense and lipid peroxidation in the kidney. In vivo administration of OTA in CD1, male mice (1 or 10 mg/kg body weight in a single oral dose for 24 h and repeated daily oral dose for 72 h or repeated daily oral dose of 0.5 mg/kg bodyweight for 21 days) resulted in a significant elevation of OTA levels in blood plasma. Some histopathological alterations, transcriptional changes in the glutathione system, and oxidative stress response-related genes were also found. In the renal cortex, the activity of the glutathione-system-related enzymes and certain metabolites of the lipid peroxidation (conjugated dienes, trienes, and thiobarbituric reactive substances) also changed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Feedborne Mycotoxins on Animal Health)
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Article
Toxicity and Sublethal Effects of Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) Bulb Powder on Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta)
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 731; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110731 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.) is a medicinal plant as it contains high concentrations of colchicine. In this study, we reported that the ground powder of autumn crocus bulb is highly toxic to invasive Solenopsis invicta Buren, commonly referred to as red [...] Read more.
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.) is a medicinal plant as it contains high concentrations of colchicine. In this study, we reported that the ground powder of autumn crocus bulb is highly toxic to invasive Solenopsis invicta Buren, commonly referred to as red imported fire ants (RIFAs). Ants fed with sugar water containing 5000 mg/L of bulb powder showed 54.67% mortality in three days compared to 45.33% mortality when fed with sugar water containing 50 mg/L of colchicine. Additionally, the effects of short-term feeding with sugar water containing 1 mg/L of colchicine and 100 mg/L of autumn crocus bulb powder were evaluated for RIFAs’ colony weight, food consumption, and aggressiveness, i.e., aggregation, grasping ability, and walking speed. After 15 days of feeding, the cumulative colony weight loss reached 44.63% and 58.73% due to the sublethal concentrations of colchicine and autumn crocus bulb powder, respectively. The consumption of sugar water and mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) was substantially reduced. The aggregation rates decreased 48.67% and 34.67%, grasping rates were reduced to 38.67% and 16.67%, and walking speed decreased 1.13 cm/s and 0.67 cm/s as a result of the feeding of the two sublethal concentrations of colchicine and autumn crocus bulb powder, respectively. Our results for the first time show that powder derived from autumn crocus bulbs could potentially be a botanical pesticide for controlling RIFAs, and application of such a product could be ecologically benign due to its rapid biodegradation in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Basic Research for the Potential Use of Plant Toxins)
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Article
Ergot and Ergot Alkaloids in Cereal Grains Intended for Animal Feeding Collected in Slovenia: Occurrence, Pattern and Correlations
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 730; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110730 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 628
Abstract
This four-year study reports the occurrence of ergot alkaloids (EAs) in cereals intended for animal feeding collected in Slovenia. A total of 517 samples of cereals were analysed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the presence of EAs. The sample set included wheat, [...] Read more.
This four-year study reports the occurrence of ergot alkaloids (EAs) in cereals intended for animal feeding collected in Slovenia. A total of 517 samples of cereals were analysed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the presence of EAs. The sample set included wheat, rye, triticale, oat, spelt and barley. The study revealed that 17% of the analysed cereal samples were contaminated with at least one ergot alkaloid. EAs have two epimeric forms: -ine and -inine. The incidence rates of the -ine and -inine forms in the analysed samples were 16% and 15%, respectively. The highest contamination rates were observed in rye (54%), oat (50%) and spelt (30%), where the highest mean concentrations of total EAs were also determined (502 µg/kg, 594 µg/kg and 715 µg/kg, respectively). However, the highest concentrations of total EAs were found in wheat and rye (4217 µg/kg and 4114 µg/kg, respectively). The predominant EAs were ergometrine, ergosine and ergocristinine. The occurrence of six or more ergot alkaloids was observed in 49% of the positive samples. A weak correlation (p = 0.284) in the positive samples was found between the mass of sclerotia and the total concentrations of EAs using the Spearman correlation coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Impact of Ergot Alkaloids)
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Review
Overview of Pharmacokinetics and Liver Toxicities of Radix Polygoni Multiflori
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 729; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110729 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Radix Polygoni Multiflori (RPM), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used as a tonic and an anti-aging remedy for centuries. However, its safe and effective application in clinical practice could be hindered by its liver injury potential and lack of investigations on its [...] Read more.
Radix Polygoni Multiflori (RPM), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used as a tonic and an anti-aging remedy for centuries. However, its safe and effective application in clinical practice could be hindered by its liver injury potential and lack of investigations on its hepatotoxicity mechanism. Our current review aims to provide a comprehensive overview and a critical assessment of the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion of RPM, and their relationships with its induced liver injury. Based on the well-reported intrinsic liver toxicity of emodin, one of the major components in RPM, it is concluded that its plasma and liver concentrations could attribute to RPM induced liver injury via metabolic enzymes alteration, hepatocyte apoptosis, bile acids homeostasis disruption, and inflammatory damage. Co-administered 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucopyranoside in RPM and other drugs/herbs could further aggravate the hepatotoxicity of emodin via enhancing its absorption and inhibiting its metabolism. To ensure the safe clinical use of RPM, a better understanding of the toxicokinetics and effect of its co-occurring components or other co-administered drugs/herbs on the pharmacokinetics of emodin is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity of Plant Derived Substances)
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Article
Diversity Assessment of Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms during Oxidation
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 728; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110728 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 970
Abstract
Fresh-water sources of drinking water are experiencing toxic cyanobacterial blooms more frequently. Chemical oxidation is a common approach to treat cyanobacteria and their toxins. This study systematically investigates the bacterial/cyanobacterial community following chemical oxidation (Cl2, KMnO4, O3, [...] Read more.
Fresh-water sources of drinking water are experiencing toxic cyanobacterial blooms more frequently. Chemical oxidation is a common approach to treat cyanobacteria and their toxins. This study systematically investigates the bacterial/cyanobacterial community following chemical oxidation (Cl2, KMnO4, O3, H2O2) using high throughput sequencing. Raw water results from high throughput sequencing show that Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most abundant phyla. Dolichospermum, Synechococcus, Microcystis and Nostoc were the most dominant genera. In terms of species, Dolichospermum sp.90 and Microcystis aeruginosa were the most abundant species at the beginning and end of the sampling, respectively. A comparison between the results of high throughput sequencing and taxonomic cell counts highlighted the robustness of high throughput sequencing to thoroughly reveal a wide diversity of bacterial and cyanobacterial communities. Principal component analysis of the oxidation samples results showed a progressive shift in the composition of bacterial/cyanobacterial communities following soft-chlorination with increasing common exposure units (CTs) (0–3.8 mg·min/L). Close cyanobacterial community composition (Dolichospermum dominant genus) was observed following low chlorine and mid-KMnO4 (287.7 mg·min/L) exposure. Our results showed that some toxin producing species may persist after oxidation whether they were dominant species or not. Relative persistence of Dolichospermum sp.90 was observed following soft-chlorination (0.2–0.6 mg/L) and permanganate (5 mg/L) oxidation with increasing oxidant exposure. Pre-oxidation using H2O2 (10 mg/L and one day contact time) caused a clear decrease in the relative abundance of all the taxa and some species including the toxin producing taxa. These observations suggest selectivity of H2O2 to provide an efficient barrier against toxin producing cyanobacteria entering a water treatment plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Waters)
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Review
Multiplex Immunoassay Techniques for On-Site Detection of Security Sensitive Toxins
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 727; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110727 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Biological toxins are a heterogeneous group of high molecular as well as low molecular weight toxins produced by living organisms. Due to their physical and logistical properties, biological toxins are very attractive to terrorists for use in acts of bioterrorism. Therefore, among the [...] Read more.
Biological toxins are a heterogeneous group of high molecular as well as low molecular weight toxins produced by living organisms. Due to their physical and logistical properties, biological toxins are very attractive to terrorists for use in acts of bioterrorism. Therefore, among the group of biological toxins, several are categorized as security relevant, e.g., botulinum neurotoxins, staphylococcal enterotoxins, abrin, ricin or saxitoxin. Additionally, several security sensitive toxins also play a major role in natural food poisoning outbreaks. For a prompt response to a potential bioterrorist attack using biological toxins, first responders need reliable, easy-to-use and highly sensitive methodologies for on-site detection of the causative agent. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present on-site immunoassay platforms for multiplex detection of biological toxins. Furthermore, we introduce several commercially available detection technologies specialized for mobile or on-site identification of security sensitive toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibodies for Toxins: From Detection to Therapeutics)
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Article
Mass Occurrence of Anatoxin-a- and Dihydroanatoxin-a-Producing Tychonema sp. in Mesotrophic Reservoir Mandichosee (River Lech, Germany) as a Cause of Neurotoxicosis in Dogs
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 726; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110726 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
In August 2019, three dogs died after bathing in or drinking from Mandichosee, a mesotrophic reservoir of the River Lech (Germany). The dogs showed symptoms of neurotoxic poisoning and intoxication with cyanotoxins was considered. Surface blooms were not visible at the time of [...] Read more.
In August 2019, three dogs died after bathing in or drinking from Mandichosee, a mesotrophic reservoir of the River Lech (Germany). The dogs showed symptoms of neurotoxic poisoning and intoxication with cyanotoxins was considered. Surface blooms were not visible at the time of the incidents. Benthic Tychonema sp., a potential anatoxin-a (ATX)-producing cyanobacterium, was detected in mats growing on the banks, as biofilm on macrophytes and later as aggregations floating on the lake surface. The dogs’ pathological examinations showed lung and liver lesions. ATX and dihydroanatoxin-a (dhATX) were detected by LC-MS/MS in the stomachs of two dogs and reached concentrations of 563 and 1207 µg/L, respectively. Anatoxins (sum of ATX and dhATX, ATXs) concentrations in field samples from Mandichosee ranged from 0.1 µg/L in the open water to 68,000 µg/L in samples containing a large amount of mat material. Other (neuro)toxic substances were not found. A molecular approach was used to detect toxin genes by PCR and to reveal the cyanobacterial community composition by sequencing. Upstream of Mandichosee, random samples were taken from other Lech reservoirs, uncovering Tychonema and ATXs at several sampling sites. Similar recent findings emphasize the importance of focusing on the investigation of benthic toxic cyanobacteria and applying appropriate monitoring strategies in the future. Full article
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Article
Staphylococcal Panton–Valentine Leucocidin and Gamma Haemolysin Target and Lyse Mature Bone Marrow Leucocytes
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 725; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110725 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, inducing several infections ranging from the benign to the life-threatening, such as necrotising pneumonia. S. aureus is capable of producing a great variety of virulence factors, such as bicomponent pore-forming leucocidin, which take part in the [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, inducing several infections ranging from the benign to the life-threatening, such as necrotising pneumonia. S. aureus is capable of producing a great variety of virulence factors, such as bicomponent pore-forming leucocidin, which take part in the physiopathology of staphylococcal infection. In necrotising pneumonia, Panton–Valentine leucocidin (PVL) induces not only lung injury and necrosis, but also leukopenia, regarded as a major factor of a poor prognosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of bicomponent pore-forming leucocidin, PVL and gamma haemolysin on bone marrow leucocytes, to better understand the origin of leukopenia. Using multi-parameter cytometry, the expression of leucocidin receptors (C5aR, CXCR1, CXCR2, and CCR2) was assessed and toxin-induced lysis was measured for each bone marrow leucocyte population. We observed that PVL resulted in myeloid-derived cells lysis according to their maturation and their C5aR expression; it also induced monocytes lysis according to host susceptibility. Haemolysin gamma A, B, and C (HlgABC) displayed cytotoxicity to monocytes and natural killer cells, hypothetically through CXCR2 and CXCR1 receptors, respectively. Taken together, the data suggest that PVL and HlgABC can lyse bone marrow leucocytes. Nevertheless, the origin of leukopenia in severe staphylococcal infection is predominantly peripheral, since immature cells stay insensitive to leucocidins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins: Promoter or Handicap during Infection)
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Article
Understanding the Differences in the Growth and Toxin Production of Anatoxin-Producing Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi Cultured with Inorganic and Organic N Sources from a New Perspective: Carbon/Nitrogen Metabolic Balance
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 724; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110724 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Cyanotoxins are the underlying cause of the threat that globally pervasive Cyanobacteria Harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) pose to humans. Major attention has been focused on the cyanobacterial hepatotoxin microcystins (MCs); however, there is a dearth of studies on cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxins. In this [...] Read more.
Cyanotoxins are the underlying cause of the threat that globally pervasive Cyanobacteria Harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) pose to humans. Major attention has been focused on the cyanobacterial hepatotoxin microcystins (MCs); however, there is a dearth of studies on cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxins. In this study, we explored how an anatoxin-producing Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi strain responded to culture with inorganic and organic nitrogen sources in terms of growth and anatoxins production. The results of our study revealed that ʟ- alanine could greatly boost cell growth, and was associated with the highest cell productivity, while urea significantly stimulated anatoxin production with the maximum anatoxin yield reaching 25.86 μg/mg dry weight, which was 1.56-fold higher than that in the control group (BG11). To further understand whether the carbon/nitrogen balance in C. issatschenkoi would affect anatoxin production, we explored growth and toxin production in response to different carbon/nitrogen ratios (C/N). Anatoxin production was mildly promoted when the C/N ratio was within low range, and significantly inhibited when the C/N ratio was within high range, showing approximately a three-fold difference. Furthermore, the transcriptional profile revealed that anaC gene expression was significantly up-regulated over 2–24 h when the C/N ratio was increased, and was significantly down-regulated after 96 h. Overall, our results further enriched the evidence that urea can stimulate cyanotoxin production, and ʟ-alanine could boost C. issatschenkoi proliferation, thus providing information for better management of aquatic systems. Moreover, by focusing on the intracellular C/N metabolic balance, this study explained the anatoxin production dynamics in C. issatschenkoi in response to different N sources. Full article
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Communication
First Report of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Marine Invertebrates and Fish in Spain
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 723; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110723 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
A paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) episode developed in summer 2018 in the Rías Baixas (Galicia, NW Spain). The outbreak was associated with an unprecedentedly intense and long-lasting harmful algal bloom (HAB) (~one month) caused by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum. Paralytic shellfish toxins [...] Read more.
A paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) episode developed in summer 2018 in the Rías Baixas (Galicia, NW Spain). The outbreak was associated with an unprecedentedly intense and long-lasting harmful algal bloom (HAB) (~one month) caused by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum. Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were analyzed in extracts of 45 A. minutum strains isolated from the bloom by high-performance liquid chromatography with post-column oxidation and fluorescence detection (HPLC-PCOX-FLD). PSTs were also evaluated in tissues from marine fauna (invertebrates and fish) collected during the episode and in dolphin samples. The analysis of 45 A. minutum strains revealed a toxic profile including GTX1, GTX2, GTX3 and GTX4 toxins. With regard to the marine fauna samples, the highest PSTs levels were quantified in bivalve mollusks, but the toxins were also found in mullets, mackerels, starfish, squids and ascidians. This study reveals the potential accumulation of PSTs in marine invertebrates other than shellfish that could act as vectors in the trophic chain or pose a risk for human consumption. To our knowledge, this is the first time that PSTs are reported in ascidians and starfish from Spain. Moreover, it is the first time that evidence of PSTs in squids is described in Europe. Full article
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Article
Advantages of Lateral Flow Assays Based on Fluorescent Submicrospheres and Quantum Dots for Clostridium difficile Toxin B Detection
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 722; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110722 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Clostridium difficile colitis is caused by a cytotoxin produced by the anaerobic bacteria C. difficile in the epithelial cells of the large intestine, particularly C. difficile toxin B (TcdB). However, the sensitivity of currently utilized C. difficile endotoxin determination methods has been called [...] Read more.
Clostridium difficile colitis is caused by a cytotoxin produced by the anaerobic bacteria C. difficile in the epithelial cells of the large intestine, particularly C. difficile toxin B (TcdB). However, the sensitivity of currently utilized C. difficile endotoxin determination methods has been called into question, and, therefore, more accurate and convenient detection methods are needed. Our study is the first to systematically compare fluorescent submicrosphere-based and quantum-dot nanobead-based lateral fluidity measurement methods (FMs-LFA and QDNBs-LFA) with toxin B quantification in fecal samples via sandwich analysis. The limits of detection (LOD) of FMs-LFA and QDNBs-LFA in the fecal samples were 0.483 and 0.297 ng/mL, respectively. TcdB analyses of the fecal samples indicated that the results of QDNBs-LFA and FMs-LFA were consistent with those of a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. The sensitivity of QDNBs-LFA was highly correlated with clinical diagnoses. Therefore, quantum dot nanobeads (QDNBs) are deemed highly suitable for lateral fluidity analyses, which would facilitate the implementation of portable and rapid on-the-spot applications, such as food hygiene and safety tests and onsite medical testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Review
Exploring Virulence Factors and Alternative Therapies against Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 721; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110721 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Pneumonia is an acute pulmonary infection associated with high mortality and an immense financial burden on healthcare systems. Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen capable of inducing S. aureus pneumonia (SAP), with some lineages also showing multidrug resistance. Given the high level of [...] Read more.
Pneumonia is an acute pulmonary infection associated with high mortality and an immense financial burden on healthcare systems. Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen capable of inducing S. aureus pneumonia (SAP), with some lineages also showing multidrug resistance. Given the high level of antibiotic resistance, much research has been focused on targeting S. aureus virulence factors, including toxins and biofilm-associated proteins, in an attempt to develop effective SAP therapeutics. Despite several promising leads, many hurdles still remain for S. aureus vaccine research. Here, we review the state-of-the-art SAP therapeutics, highlight their pitfalls, and discuss alternative approaches of potential significance and future perspectives. Full article
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Communication
Laser Ablation Remote-Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (LARESI MSI) Imaging—New Method for Detection and Spatial Localization of Metabolites and Mycotoxins Produced by Moulds
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 720; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110720 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 761
Abstract
To date, no method has been developed to assess the distribution of mycotoxins on the surface of grains, or other plant material, and the depth of their penetration into the interior. The Infrared (IR) Laser Ablation-Remote-Electrospray Ionization (LARESI) platform coupled to a tandem [...] Read more.
To date, no method has been developed to assess the distribution of mycotoxins on the surface of grains, or other plant material, and the depth of their penetration into the interior. The Infrared (IR) Laser Ablation-Remote-Electrospray Ionization (LARESI) platform coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer (MS/MS), measuring in selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode, was employed for the targeted imaging of selected metabolites of Aspergillus fumigatus, including mycotoxins in biological objects for the first time. This methodology allowed for the localisation of grain metabolites and fungal metabolites of grain infected by this mould. The distribution of metabolites in spelt grain was differentiated: fumigaclavine C, fumitremorgin C, and fumiquinazoline D were located mainly in the embryo, brevianamide F in the seed coat, and fumagillin in the endosperm. The LARESI mass spectrometry imaging method can be used in the future for the metabolomic analysis of mould metabolites in various plants and agricultural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins)
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Article
A Study of Carry-Over and Histopathological Effects after Chronic Dietary Intake of Citrinin in Pigs, Broiler Chickens and Laying Hens
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 719; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110719 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
Citrinin (CIT) is a polyketide mycotoxin occurring in a variety of food and feedstuff, among which cereal grains are the most important contaminated source. Pigs and poultry are important livestock animals frequently exposed to mycotoxins, including CIT. Concerns are rising related to the [...] Read more.
Citrinin (CIT) is a polyketide mycotoxin occurring in a variety of food and feedstuff, among which cereal grains are the most important contaminated source. Pigs and poultry are important livestock animals frequently exposed to mycotoxins, including CIT. Concerns are rising related to the toxic, and especially the potential nephrotoxic, properties of CIT. The purpose of this study was to clarify the histopathological effects on kidneys, liver, jejunum and duodenum of pigs, broiler chickens and laying hens receiving CIT contaminated feed. During 3 weeks, pigs (n = 16) were exposed to feed containing 1 mg CIT/kg feed or to control feed (n = 4), while 2 groups of broiler chickens and laying hens (n = 8 per group) received 0.1 mg CIT/kg feed (lower dose group) and 3 or 3.5 mg CIT/kg feed (higher dose group), respectively, or control feed (n = 4). CIT concentrations were quantified in plasma, kidneys, liver, muscle and eggs using a validated ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method. Kidneys, liver, duodenum and jejunum were evaluated histologically using light microscopy, while the kidneys were further examined using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Histopathology did not reveal major abnormalities at the given contamination levels. However, a significant increase of swollen and degenerated mitochondria in renal cortical cells from all test groups were observed (p < 0.05). These observations could be related to oxidative stress, which is the major mechanism of CIT toxicity. Residues of CIT were detected in all collected tissues, except for muscle and egg white from layers in the lowest dose group, and egg white from layers in the highest dose group. CIT concentrations in plasma ranged between 0.1 (laying hens in lower dose group) and 20.8 ng/mL (pigs). In tissues, CIT concentrations ranged from 0.6 (muscle) to 20.3 µg/kg (liver) in pigs, while concentrations in chickens ranged from 0.1 (muscle) to 70.2 µg/kg (liver). Carry-over ratios from feed to edible tissues were between 0.1 and 2% in pigs, and between 0.1 and 6.9% in chickens, suggesting a low contribution of pig and poultry tissue-derived products towards the total dietary CIT intake for humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Article
A Calibration Curve Implanted Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Simultaneously Quantitative Determination of Multiplex Mycotoxins in Cereal Samples, Soybean and Peanut
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110718 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 670
Abstract
In this study, a rapid and sensitive immunoassay method has been established based on calibration curve implanted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (C-ELISA) for the simultaneously quantitative determination of aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in cereal samples, soybean and peanut. The C-ELISA avoids [...] Read more.
In this study, a rapid and sensitive immunoassay method has been established based on calibration curve implanted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (C-ELISA) for the simultaneously quantitative determination of aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in cereal samples, soybean and peanut. The C-ELISA avoids using the standard substances during the detection. The principle of the C-ELISA is to implant the optimized standard curve data into the matched analysis software which can make data processing more convenient and faster. The implanted calibration curve software was programmed with C plus plus. In the new immunoassay system for aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, their linear detection ranges were from 0.03~0.81, 1.00~27.00 and 5.00~135.00 ng/g, respectively. Recovery rates from spiked samples ranged from 85% to 110% with the intra-assay coefficients of variation under 5%. Compared with HPLC method, the new method showed consistence in all the observed contents of the three mycotoxins in real samples. The new method can rapidly and reliably high throughput simultaneously screen for multiplex mycotoxins. Full article
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Article
Ssu72 Regulates Fungal Development, Aflatoxin Biosynthesis and Pathogenicity in Aspergillus flavus
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 717; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110717 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription process is coordinated by the reversible phosphorylation of its largest subunit-carboxy terminal domain (CTD). Ssu72 is identified as a CTD phosphatase with specificity for phosphorylation of Ser5 and Ser7 and plays critical roles in regulation of [...] Read more.
The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription process is coordinated by the reversible phosphorylation of its largest subunit-carboxy terminal domain (CTD). Ssu72 is identified as a CTD phosphatase with specificity for phosphorylation of Ser5 and Ser7 and plays critical roles in regulation of transcription cycle in eukaryotes. However, the biofunction of Ssu72 is still unknown in Aspergillus flavus, which is a plant pathogenic fungus and produces one of the most toxic mycotoxins-aflatoxin. Here, we identified a putative phosphatase Ssu72 and investigated the function of Ssu72 in A. flavus. Deletion of ssu72 resulted in severe defects in vegetative growth, conidiation and sclerotia formation. Additionally, we found that phosphatase Ssu72 positively regulates aflatoxin production through regulating expression of aflatoxin biosynthesis cluster genes. Notably, seeds infection assays indicated that phosphatase Ssu72 is crucial for pathogenicity of A. flavus. Furthermore, the Δssu72 mutant exhibited more sensitivity to osmotic and oxidative stresses. Taken together, our study suggests that the putative phosphatase Ssu72 is involved in fungal development, aflatoxin production and pathogenicity in A. flavus, and may provide a novel strategy to prevent the contamination of this pathogenic fungus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Review
Toxemia in Human Naturally Acquired Botulism
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 716; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110716 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
Human botulism is a severe disease characterized by flaccid paralysis and inhibition of certain gland secretions, notably salivary secretions, caused by inhibition of neurotransmitter release. Naturally acquired botulism occurs in three main forms: food-borne botulism by ingestion of preformed botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in [...] Read more.
Human botulism is a severe disease characterized by flaccid paralysis and inhibition of certain gland secretions, notably salivary secretions, caused by inhibition of neurotransmitter release. Naturally acquired botulism occurs in three main forms: food-borne botulism by ingestion of preformed botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in food, botulism by intestinal colonization (infant botulism and intestinal toxemia botulism in infants above one year and adults), and wound botulism. A rapid laboratory confirmation of botulism is required for the appropriate management of patients. Detection of BoNT in the patient’s sera is the most direct way to address the diagnosis of botulism. Based on previous published reports, botulinum toxemia was identified in about 70% of food-borne and wound botulism cases, and only in about 28% of infant botulism cases, in which the diagnosis is mainly confirmed from stool sample investigation. The presence of BoNT in serum depends on the BoNT amount ingested with contaminated food or produced locally in the intestine or wound, and the timeframe between serum sampling and disease onset. BoNT levels in patient’s sera are most frequently low, requiring a highly sensitive method of detection. Mouse bioassay is still the most used method of botulism identification from serum samples. However, in vitro methods based on BoNT endopeptidase activity with detection by mass spectrometry or immunoassay have been developed and depending on BoNT type, are more sensitive than the mouse bioassay. These new assays show high specificity for individual BoNT types and allow more accurate differentiation between positive toxin sera from botulism and autoimmune neuropathy patients. Full article
Article
Association between Uremic Toxin Concentrations and Bone Mineral Density after Kidney Transplantation
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 715; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110715 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Although uremic osteoporosis is a component of mineral and bone disorder in chronic kidney disease, uremic toxin (UT) concentrations in patients with end-stage kidney disease and bone mineral density (BMD) changes after kidney transplantation have not previously been described. We hypothesized that elevated [...] Read more.
Although uremic osteoporosis is a component of mineral and bone disorder in chronic kidney disease, uremic toxin (UT) concentrations in patients with end-stage kidney disease and bone mineral density (BMD) changes after kidney transplantation have not previously been described. We hypothesized that elevated UT concentrations at the time of transplantation could have a negative impact on bone during the early post-transplantation period. Hence, we sought to determine whether concentrations of UTs (trimethylamine-N-oxide, indoxylsulfate, p-cresylsulfate, p-cresylglucuronide, indole-3-acetic acid, hippuric acid, and 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-furanpropionic acid) upon transplantation are predictive markers for (i) osteoporosis one month after transplantation, and (ii) a BMD decrease and the occurrence of fractures 12 and 24 months after kidney transplantation. Between 2012 and 2018, 310 kidney transplant recipients were included, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed 1, 12, and 24 months after transplantation. The UT concentrations upon transplantation were determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Indoxylsulfate concentrations upon transplantation were positively correlated with BMD one month after transplantation for the femoral neck but were not associated with osteoporosis status upon transplantation. Concentrations of the other UTs upon transplantation were not associated with osteoporosis or BMD one month after transplantation. None of the UT concentrations were associated with BMD changes and the occurrence of osteoporotic fractures 12 and 24 months after transplantation. Hence, UT concentrations at the time of kidney transplantation were not predictive markers of osteoporosis or fractures. Full article
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Review
Fungal Bioactive Anthraquinones and Analogues
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110714 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
This review, covering the literature from 1966 to the present (2020), describes naturally occurring fungal bioactive anthraquinones and analogues biosynthesized by the acetate route and concerning several different functionalized carbon skeletons. Hydrocarbons, lipids, sterols, esters, fatty acids, derivatives of amino acids, and aromatic [...] Read more.
This review, covering the literature from 1966 to the present (2020), describes naturally occurring fungal bioactive anthraquinones and analogues biosynthesized by the acetate route and concerning several different functionalized carbon skeletons. Hydrocarbons, lipids, sterols, esters, fatty acids, derivatives of amino acids, and aromatic compounds are metabolites belonging to other different classes of natural compounds and are generated by the same biosynthetic route. All of them are produced by plant, microorganisms, and marine organisms. The biological activities of anthraquinones and analogues comprise phytotoxic, antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer, antitumor, algicide, antifungal, enzyme inhibiting, immunostimulant, antiplatelet aggregation, cytotoxic, and antiplasmodium activities. The review also covers some practical industrial applications of anthraquinones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial and Plant Phytotoxins)
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Review
Biological Activity of Berberine—A Summary Update
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 713; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110713 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Berberine is a plant metabolite belonging to the group of isoquinoline alkaloids with strong biological and pharmacological activity. Currently, berberine is receiving considerable interest due to its anticancer activity based on many biochemical pathways, especially its proapoptotic and anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore, the growing [...] Read more.
Berberine is a plant metabolite belonging to the group of isoquinoline alkaloids with strong biological and pharmacological activity. Currently, berberine is receiving considerable interest due to its anticancer activity based on many biochemical pathways, especially its proapoptotic and anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore, the growing number of papers on berberine demands summarizing the knowledge and research trends. The efficacy of berberine in breast and colon cancers seems to be the most promising aspect. Many papers focus on novel therapeutic strategies based on new formulations or search for new active derivatives. The activity of berberine is very important as regards sensitization and support of anticancer therapy in combination with well-known but in some cases inefficient therapeutics. Currently, the compound is being assessed in many important clinical trials and is one of the most promising and intensively examined natural agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Identification and Functional Characterization of Plant Toxins)
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Opinion
The MyToolbox EU–China Partnership—Progress and Future Directions in Mycotoxin Research and Management
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 712; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110712 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
Affordable and practical tools for farmers and food processors along the chain are required to efficiently reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination of crops, feeds and foods. Developing new tools and enhancing existing ones was the mission of MyToolBox—a four-year EU-project that included [...] Read more.
Affordable and practical tools for farmers and food processors along the chain are required to efficiently reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination of crops, feeds and foods. Developing new tools and enhancing existing ones was the mission of MyToolBox—a four-year EU-project that included important Chinese partners and joint research efforts. To identify future directions in mycotoxin research and management in China and their role in China–EU relations, a unique stakeholder workshop including group discussions was organized in Beijing. Six related topics: biocontrol, forecasting, sampling and analysis, silo management, detoxification, and the development of safe use options for contaminated materials were covered. The discussions clearly identified a critical need for smart, integrated strategies to address mycotoxin issues to attain safer food and feed, and to minimize losses and export rejections. Managing data on when, where and the size of mycotoxin contamination events and identifying the institution(s) to manage them are complex issues in China. Studies of microbes and novel, genetically-altered enzymes to limit pre-harvest contamination and to manage post-harvest product detoxification and alternate uses of contaminated materials are in the early stages in China. Further efforts are needed to increase the visibility of mycotoxin problems beyond the scientific and research communities. Full article
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Article
Chitosan as a Coagulant to Remove Cyanobacteria Can Cause Microcystin Release
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 711; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110711 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
Chitosan has been tested as a coagulant to remove cyanobacterial nuisance. While its coagulation efficiency is well studied, little is known about its effect on the viability of the cyanobacterial cells. This study aimed to test eight strains of the most frequent bloom-forming [...] Read more.
Chitosan has been tested as a coagulant to remove cyanobacterial nuisance. While its coagulation efficiency is well studied, little is known about its effect on the viability of the cyanobacterial cells. This study aimed to test eight strains of the most frequent bloom-forming cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa, exposed to a realistic concentration range of chitosan used in lake restoration management (0 to 8 mg chitosan L−1). We found that after 1 h of contact with chitosan, in seven of the eight strains tested, photosystem II efficiency was decreased, and after 24 h, all the strains tested were affected. EC50 values varied from 0.47 to > 8 mg chitosan L-1 between the strains, which might be related to the amount of extracellular polymeric substances. Nucleic acid staining (Sytox-Green®) illustrated the loss of membrane integrity in all the strains tested, and subsequent leakage of pigments was observed, as well as the release of intracellular microcystin. Our results indicate that strain variability hampers generalization about species response to chitosan exposure. Hence, when used as a coagulant to manage cyanobacterial nuisance, chitosan should be first tested on the natural site-specific biota on cyanobacteria removal efficiency, as well as on cell integrity aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Waters)
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Article
Variation of the Main Alkaloid Content in Equisetum palustre L. in the Light of Its Ontogeny
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 710; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110710 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Marsh horsetail (Equisetum palustre L.) is one of the most poisonous plants of wet grasslands in the northern hemisphere, which poses a major health threat to livestock. Available data on the levels of its main alkaloids are currently contradictory due to the [...] Read more.
Marsh horsetail (Equisetum palustre L.) is one of the most poisonous plants of wet grasslands in the northern hemisphere, which poses a major health threat to livestock. Available data on the levels of its main alkaloids are currently contradictory due to the inadequate analytical methods and the wide variation in toxicity levels reported. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the ontogenetic stage of plant development may explain a significant part of the variations in the main Equisetum-type alkaloids. Two populations of marsh horsetail were sampled over two growing seasons. The plant material was classified according to their developmental stages and subsequently the main alkaloids were determined by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC HPLC-ESI-MS/MS) analysis. ANOVA revealed significant effects of the ontogenetic stage but not the site on the main Equisetum-type alkaloids (sum of palustrine and palustridiene) ranging from 213 to 994 mg/kg dry matter (DM). The highest alkaloid content was found in the stages of early development. Not the season itself, but the growth temperature co-influenced the alkaloid content. Our results help to resolve the seemingly contradictory information provided by previous studies on the toxicity of E. palustre and are of practical relevance for the prevention of contamination risks in wet grassland use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins Affecting Animal Health and Production)
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Article
Structural Insight into Integrin Recognition and Anticancer Activity of Echistatin
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 709; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110709 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Echistatin (Ech) is a short disintegrin with a long 42NPHKGPAT C-terminal tail. We determined the 3-D structure of Ech by X-ray crystallography. Superimposition of the structures of chains A and B showed conformational differences in their RGD loops and C-termini. The chain [...] Read more.
Echistatin (Ech) is a short disintegrin with a long 42NPHKGPAT C-terminal tail. We determined the 3-D structure of Ech by X-ray crystallography. Superimposition of the structures of chains A and B showed conformational differences in their RGD loops and C-termini. The chain A structure is consistent with our NMR analysis that the GPAT residues of the C-terminus cannot be observed due to high flexibility. The hydrogen bond patterns of the RGD loop and between the RGD loop and C-terminus in Ech were the same as those of the corresponding residues in medium disintegrins. The mutant with C-terminal HKGPAT truncation caused 6.4-, 7.0-, 11.7-, and 18.6-fold decreases in inhibiting integrins αvβ3, αIIbβ3, αvβ5, and α5β1. Mutagenesis of the C-terminus showed that the H44A mutant caused 2.5- and 4.4-fold increases in inhibiting αIIbβ3 and α5β1, and the K45A mutant caused a 2.6-fold decrease in inhibiting αIIbβ3. We found that Ech inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC proliferation with an IC50 value of 103.2 nM and inhibited the migration of A375, U373MG, and Panc-1 tumor cells with IC50 values of 1.5, 5.7, and 154.5 nM. These findings suggest that Ech is a potential anticancer agent, and its C-terminal region can be optimized to improve its anticancer activity. Full article
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Article
Effects of Cassava Juice (Manihot esculenta Crantz) on Renal and Hepatic Function and Motor Impairments in Male Rats
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110708 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a plant that contains neurotoxins such as linamarin and lotaustraline. Its long-term consumption is associated with neuronal damage and contributes to the development of motor impairment in humans and rats. We investigated the effects of the consumption [...] Read more.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a plant that contains neurotoxins such as linamarin and lotaustraline. Its long-term consumption is associated with neuronal damage and contributes to the development of motor impairment in humans and rats. We investigated the effects of the consumption of cassava juice on renal and hepatic function and motor impairments in male rats. The rats received the vehicle, non-toxic and toxic doses of cassava juice, or linamarin as a pharmacological control, over 35 consecutive days. The effects were evaluated in an open field test, rotarod, and swim test. The toxic cassava dose and linamarin resulted in motor impairments in the rotarod and swim test from day 7 of treatment. The toxic cassava dose and linamarin increased the parameters that indicate renal and hepatic damage, with the exception of total protein and albumin levels. Behavioral variables that show motor incoordination (i.e., latency to fall in the rotarod) were negatively correlated with biochemical parameters of renal and kidney damage, whereas spin behavior was positively correlated. Our data indicate that chronic oral consumption of cassava juice caused renal and hepatic damage that was correlated with motor coordination impairment in rats, similarly to their principal neurotoxic compound, linamarin. Full article
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Review
Plant and Fungal Hepatotoxicities of Cattle in Australia, with a Focus on Minimally Understood Toxins
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 707; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110707 - 08 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
Plant- and fungus-derived hepatotoxins are a major cause of disease and production losses in ruminants in Australia and around the world. Many are well studied and described in the literature; however, this is not the case for a number of hepatotoxicities with economic [...] Read more.
Plant- and fungus-derived hepatotoxins are a major cause of disease and production losses in ruminants in Australia and around the world. Many are well studied and described in the literature; however, this is not the case for a number of hepatotoxicities with economic and animal welfare impacts, such as acute bovine liver disease (ABLD), brassica-associated liver disease (BALD) and Trema tomentosa, Argentipallium blandowskianum and Lythrum hyssopifolia toxicity. Additionally, significant overlap in the clinical presentation and pathology of these conditions can present a diagnostic challenge for veterinarians. This review summarizes the current and most recently published knowledge of common plant- and fungus-associated hepatotoxins affecting cattle in Australia, with a focus on the mechanisms of toxicity and distinguishing diagnostic features. Consolidation of the current understanding of hepatotoxic mechanisms in cattle provides insight into the potential mechanisms of lesser-known toxins, including cellular and subcellular targets and potential metabolic pathways. In the absence of specific etiological investigations, the study of epidemiological, clinical and pathological features of hepatotoxicity provides valuable insights into potential toxic mechanisms and is integral for the successful diagnosis and management of these conditions. Full article
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Article
Ochratoxin A Levels in Tissues of Wild Boars (Sus scrofa) from Northern Italy
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 706; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110706 - 08 Nov 2020
Viewed by 853
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium, capable of contaminating several foodstuffs. OTA damages primarily the kidneys, and is suspected to be a carcinogenic substance, thus maximum levels for OTA in foodstuffs have been established in the EU. [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium, capable of contaminating several foodstuffs. OTA damages primarily the kidneys, and is suspected to be a carcinogenic substance, thus maximum levels for OTA in foodstuffs have been established in the EU. Italian Ministry of Health suggested a maximum level of 1 μg/kg OTA in pork meat and derived products. In this study, OTA concentrations in liver, kidney, and muscle of 64 wild boars (Sus scrofa) killed in two areas (area A and B) of Parma province (northern Italy), characterized by different habitat types, were assessed by HPLC-FLD technique. OTA was detected in 54% liver, 52% kidney, and 16% muscle samples. OTA levels were significantly higher in liver and kidney compared with muscle, and were above 1 μg/kg in 19 liver, 17 kidney, and 4 muscle samples. OTA levels in wild boars from area A resulted significantly higher with respect to those from area B, suggesting an environmental influence on OTA contamination in wild boars. This study seems to confirm that wild boar meat is a potential source of OTA, thus monitoring the presence of this mycotoxin in game meat might be recommended to prevent risks for human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins)
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Article
Melittin Induces Local Order Changes in Artificial and Biological Membranes as Revealed by Spectral Analysis of Laurdan Fluorescence
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 705; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110705 - 08 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a class of molecules widely used in applications on eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Independent of the peptide target, all of them need to first pass or interact with the plasma membrane of the cells. In order to have a [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a class of molecules widely used in applications on eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Independent of the peptide target, all of them need to first pass or interact with the plasma membrane of the cells. In order to have a better image of the peptide action mechanism with respect to the particular features of the membrane it is necessary to better understand the changes induced by AMPs in the membranes. Laurdan, a lipid membrane probe sensitive to polarity changes in the environment, is used in this study for assessing changes induced by melittin, a well-known peptide, both in model and natural lipid membranes. More importantly, we showed that generalized polarization (GP) values are not always efficient or sufficient to properly characterize the changes in the membrane. We proved that a better method to investigate these changes is to use the previously described log-normal deconvolution allowing us to infer other parameters: the difference between the relative areas of elementary peak (ΔSr), and the ratio of elementary peaks areas (Rs). Melittin induced a slight decrease in local membrane fluidity in homogeneous lipid membranes. The addition of cholesterol stabilizes the membrane more in the presence of melittin. An opposite response was observed in the case of heterogeneous lipid membranes in cells, the local order of lipids being diminished. RS proved to be the most sensitive parameter characterizing the local membrane order, allowing us to distinguish among the responses to melittin of both classes of membrane we investigated (liposomes and cellular membranes). Molecular simulation of the melittin pore in homogeneous lipid bilayer suggests that lipids are more closely packed in the proximity of the melittin pore (a smaller area per lipid), supporting the experimental observation. Full article
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