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Nutrients 2014, 6(5), 2077-2087; doi:10.3390/nu6052077
Article

Toxicity Mechanisms of the Food Contaminant Citrinin: Application of a Quantitative Yeast Model

1,* , 1
 and 2,*
1 Department of Biotechnology, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Ingeniero Fausto Elio s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain 2 Department of Mechanisms of Plant Stress Responses, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Ingeniero Fausto Elio s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient: Gene Interactions)
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Abstract

Mycotoxins are important food contaminants and a serious threat for human nutrition. However, in many cases the mechanisms of toxicity for this diverse group of metabolites are poorly understood. Here we apply live cell gene expression reporters in yeast as a quantitative model to unravel the cellular defense mechanisms in response to the mycotoxin citrinin. We find that citrinin triggers a fast and dose dependent activation of stress responsive promoters such as GRE2 or SOD2. More specifically, oxidative stress responsive pathways via the transcription factors Yap1 and Skn7 are critically implied in the response to citrinin. Additionally, genes in various multidrug resistance transport systems are functionally involved in the resistance to citrinin. Our study identifies the antioxidant defense as a major physiological response in the case of citrinin. In general, our results show that the use of live cell gene expression reporters in yeast are a powerful tool to identify toxicity targets and detoxification mechanisms of a broad range of food contaminants relevant for human nutrition.
Keywords: citrinin; oxidative stress; yeast; mycotoxins citrinin; oxidative stress; yeast; mycotoxins
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pascual-Ahuir, A.; Vanacloig-Pedros, E.; Proft, M. Toxicity Mechanisms of the Food Contaminant Citrinin: Application of a Quantitative Yeast Model. Nutrients 2014, 6, 2077-2087.

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