Special Issue "Selected Papers from 1st International Electronic Conference on Toxins 2021"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jay Fox
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Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to join the 1st International Electronic Conference on Toxins 2020. This meeting will be hosted online.

Toxins have, for several millennia, played an integral role in many aspects of human endeavors, through their impact on health and agriculture. In addition to their detrimental roles, toxins have also been incredibly useful in expanding our understanding of biology and they continue to serve as tools for drug leads and therapeutic interventions. The goal of this conference is to provide a platform for scientists working on toxins from all organisms to present the latest concepts which are currently being studied, as well as to allow these scientists to compare and contrast the actions of toxins. Furthermore, the potential uses of toxins for the benefit of science, as well as for the benefit of mankind, will be a key concept for discussion.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel plant, animal and insect toxins
  • Mechanism of action and/or pathophysiology of toxins
  • Use of toxins as tools for research, drug discovery, and therapeutics
  • Impact of toxins on public health
  • Impact of toxins on agriculture
  • Evolution of toxins

The meeting will be organized so that scientists can share their most recent findings with colleagues worldwide in question and answer sessions, as well as in discussion groups that will meet online. We hope that this will be as engaging as it can be, given the format.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the conference committee and, if accepted, authors will be invited to submit an extended abstract for the conference proceedings, along with a PowerPoint presentation of their work. Following the conference, outstanding contributions will be invited to submit manuscripts for publication in a Special Issue of Toxins that highlights the work presented at the conference. 

Although the current pandemic has moved us to these rather novel mechanisms to disseminate data and engage with colleagues worldwide, I believe that this provides us with an outstanding and perhaps unique opportunity to interact with researchers in fields that we may not have otherwise, and as such, enrich ourselves and our scientific studies via the format of this “meeting”. 

I hope that you will join me in participating in this unique event and play an active part in this online conference.

Sincerely,

Professor Jay W. Fox, Chair of the 1st Web-Based World Conference on Toxins 2020

Prof. Dr. Jay Fox
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Animal Venoms
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Marine and Freshwater Toxins
  • Mycotoxins
  • Plant Toxins
  • Uremic Toxins

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Article
Evaluation of Signaling Pathways Profiling in Human Dermal Endothelial Cells Treated by Snake Venom Cysteine-Rich Secretory Proteins (svCRiSPs) from North American Snakes Using Reverse Phase Protein Array (RPPA)
Toxins 2021, 13(9), 613; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13090613 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Cysteine-Rich Secretory Proteins (CRiSPs) are typically found in many snake venoms; however, the role that these toxins play in the pathophysiology of snakebites is still unclear. Herein, we compared the effects of snake venom CRiSPs (svCRiSPs) from the most medically important species of [...] Read more.
Cysteine-Rich Secretory Proteins (CRiSPs) are typically found in many snake venoms; however, the role that these toxins play in the pathophysiology of snakebites is still unclear. Herein, we compared the effects of snake venom CRiSPs (svCRiSPs) from the most medically important species of North American snakes on endothelial cell permeability and vascular permeability. We used reverse phase protein array (RPPA) to identify key signaling molecules on human dermal lymphatic (HDLECs) and blood (HDBECs) endothelial cells treated with svCRiSPs. The results showed that Css-CRiSP isolated from Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus and App-CRiSP from Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus are the most potent causes of increase vascular and endothelial permeability in comparison with other svCRiSPs used in this study. We examined the protein expression levels and their activated phosphorylation states in HDLECs and HDBECs induced by App-CRiSP and Css-CRiSP using RPPA. Interestingly, both App-CRiSP and Css-CRiSP induced caveolin-1 expression in HDBECs. We also found that stimulating HDBECs with Css-CRiSP and App-CRiSP significantly induced the phosphorylation of mTOR and Src, respectively. In HDLECs, Css-CRiSP significantly downregulated the expression of N-Cadherin and phospholipase C-gamma, while App-CRiSP significantly enhanced Akt and JNK phosphorylation. These results suggest that the increased endothelial permeability in HDLECs and HDBECs by Css-CRiSP and App-CRiSP may occur through different pathways. Full article
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Article
Bothrops moojeni Venom and Its Components Strongly Affect Osteoclasts’ Maturation and Protein Patterns
Toxins 2021, 13(7), 459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13070459 - 30 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Osteoclasts (OCs) are important for bone maintenance, calcium balance, and tissue regeneration regulation and are involved in different inflammatory diseases. Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of Bothrops moojeni’s venom and its low and high molecular mass (HMM and LMM) fractions on [...] Read more.
Osteoclasts (OCs) are important for bone maintenance, calcium balance, and tissue regeneration regulation and are involved in different inflammatory diseases. Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of Bothrops moojeni’s venom and its low and high molecular mass (HMM and LMM) fractions on human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-derived OCs’ in vitro differentiation. Bothrops moojeni, a Brazilian lanced-head viper, presents a rich but not well-explored, venom composition. This venom is a potent inducer of inflammation, which can be used as a tool to investigate the inflammatory process. Human PBMCs were isolated and induced to OC differentiation following routine protocol. On the fourth day of differentiation, the venom was added at different concentrations (5, 0.5, and 0.05 µg/mL). We observed a significant reduction of TRAP+ (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase) OCs at the concentration of 5 µg/mL. We evaluated the F-actin-rich OCs structure’s integrity; disruption of its integrity reflects bone adsorption capacity. F-actin rings phalloidin staining demonstrated that venom provoked their disruption in treated OCs. HMM, fraction reduces TRAP+ OCs at a concentration of 5 µg/mL and LMM fraction at 1 µg/mL, respectively. Our results indicate morphological changes that the venom induced cause in OCs. We analyzed the pattern of soluble proteins found in the conditioned cell culture medium OCs treated with venom and its fractions using mass spectrometry (LC-MS/IT-Tof). The proteomic analyses indicate the possible pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in OC reduction after the treatment. Full article
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Article
Tea: Transfer of Mycotoxins from the Spiked Matrix into an Infusion
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060404 - 07 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Recent surveys report the occurrence of Aspergillus and Penicillium metabolites (aflatoxins (AFLs), ochratoxin A (OTA), cyclopiazonic and mycophenolic acids (MPA), sterigmatocystin (STC), citrinin), Fusarium (trichothecenes, zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FBs), enniatins (ENNs)) and Alternaria (alternariol (AOH), its methyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TE), and tenuazonic [...] Read more.
Recent surveys report the occurrence of Aspergillus and Penicillium metabolites (aflatoxins (AFLs), ochratoxin A (OTA), cyclopiazonic and mycophenolic acids (MPA), sterigmatocystin (STC), citrinin), Fusarium (trichothecenes, zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FBs), enniatins (ENNs)) and Alternaria (alternariol (AOH), its methyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TE), and tenuazonic acid (TNZ)) toxins in dry Camellia sinensis and herbal tea samples. Since tea is consumed in the form of infusion, correct risk assessment needs evaluation of mycotoxins’ transfer rates. We have studied the transfer of AFLs, OTA, STC, deoxynivalenol (DON), ZEA, FBs, T-2, and HT-2 toxins, AOH, AME, TE, ENN A and B, beauvericin (BEA), and MPA from the spiked green tea matrix into an infusion under variation of preparation time and water characteristics (total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH). Analytes were detected by HPLC-MS/MS. The main factors affecting transfer rate proved to be mycotoxins’ polarity, pH of the resulting infusion (for OTA, FB2, and MPA) and matrix-infusion contact period. The concentration of mycotoxins increased by 20–50% within the first ten minutes of infusing, after that kinetic curve changed slowly. The concentration of DON and FB2 increased by about 10%, for ZEA, MPA, and STC it stayed constant, while for T-2, TE, AOH, and AFLs G1 and G2 it went down. Maximum transfer correlated well with analytes polarity. Maximum transfer of ENNs, BEA, STC, ZEA, and AOH into infusion was below 25%; AFLs—25–45%; DON, TE, and T-2 toxins 60–90%, FB1—80–100%. The concentration of OTA, MPA, and FB2 in the infusion depended on its pH. At pH about four, 20%, 40%, and 60% of these toxins transferred into an infusion, at pH about seven, their concentrations doubled. Water TDS did not affect transfer significantly. Full article
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Article
Short Linear Motifs Characterizing Snake Venom and Mammalian Phospholipases A2
Toxins 2021, 13(4), 290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13040290 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 710
Abstract
Snake venom phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) have sequences and structures very similar to those of mammalian group I and II secretory PLA2s, but they possess many toxic properties, ranging from the inhibition of coagulation to the blockage of nerve transmission, and the induction of [...] Read more.
Snake venom phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) have sequences and structures very similar to those of mammalian group I and II secretory PLA2s, but they possess many toxic properties, ranging from the inhibition of coagulation to the blockage of nerve transmission, and the induction of muscle necrosis. The biological properties of these proteins are not only due to their enzymatic activity, but also to protein–protein interactions which are still unidentified. Here, we compare sequence alignments of snake venom and mammalian PLA2s, grouped according to their structure and biological activity, looking for differences that can justify their different behavior. This bioinformatics analysis has evidenced three distinct regions, two central and one C-terminal, having amino acid compositions that distinguish the different categories of PLA2s. In these regions, we identified short linear motifs (SLiMs), peptide modules involved in protein–protein interactions, conserved in mammalian and not in snake venom PLA2s, or vice versa. The different content in the SLiMs of snake venom with respect to mammalian PLA2s may result in the formation of protein membrane complexes having a toxic activity, or in the formation of complexes whose activity cannot be blocked due to the lack of switches in the toxic PLA2s, as the motif recognized by the prolyl isomerase Pin1. Full article
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Article
Impaired Performance of Broiler Chickens Fed Diets Naturally Contaminated with Moderate Levels of Deoxynivalenol
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020170 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
Mycotoxin exposure is common in the poultry industry. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is usually detected at levels below the maximum threshold (5000 ppb), but depending on diet and age, broiler performance can be affected. We evaluated the effects of 900 ppb and 2300 ppb DON [...] Read more.
Mycotoxin exposure is common in the poultry industry. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is usually detected at levels below the maximum threshold (5000 ppb), but depending on diet and age, broiler performance can be affected. We evaluated the effects of 900 ppb and 2300 ppb DON on the performance, intestinal morphometry, and lesion scores of broiler chickens. One-day-old male Ross broilers (n = 736) were divided into 4 treatments with 8 replicates each, and a pen containing 23 birds was the experimental unit. The animals were fed diets naturally contaminated with two levels of DON: 900 (Low DON—LD) or 2300 (Moderate DON—MD) ppb, with or without activated charcoal, over 28 days. After this, all birds were fed a marginally DON-contaminated diet without charcoal. During the first 28 days, body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were significantly impaired when broilers were fed a MD diet without activated charcoal. Even after feeding a marginally contaminated diet from D28–35, birds previously fed the MD diet presented a significantly lower performance. The villus height:crypt depth (VH:CD) ratio was significantly higher in the ileum from 14-day-old broilers fed the MD when compared with the LD diet. At D28, the MD diet caused decreased villus height (VH) and increased crypt depth (CD), affecting VH:CD ratio in both intestinal segments, with higher levels in the jejunum from 28-day-old broilers fed a non-supplemented LD diet. Broiler production was negatively affected by DON, even at moderate levels (2300 ppb). Full article
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Conference Report
Report of the 1st International Electronic Conference on Toxins (IECT2021), 16–31 January 2021
Toxins 2021, 13(4), 273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13040273 - 09 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The 1st International Electronic Conference on Toxins (IECT2021) was successfully held online by https://sciforum [...] Full article
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