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Toxins, Volume 2, Issue 6 (June 2010), Pages 1179-1594

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Alpha-Tocopherol Counteracts the Cytotoxicity Induced by Ochratoxin A in Primary Porcine Fibroblasts
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1265-1278; doi:10.3390/toxins2061265
Received: 22 April 2010 / Revised: 14 May 2010 / Accepted: 31 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aims of the current study were to determine the half-lethal concentration of ochratoxin A (OTA) as well as the levels of lactate dehydrogenase release and DNA fragmentation induced by OTA in primary porcine fibroblasts, and to examine the role of α-tocopherol in counteracting its toxicity. Cells showed a dose-, time- and origin-dependent (ear vs. embryo) sensitivity to ochratoxin A. Pre-incubation for 3 h with 1 nM α-tocopherol significantly (P < 0.01) reduced OTA cytotoxicity, lactate dehydrogenase release and DNA damage in both fibroblast cultures. These findings indicate that α-tocopherol supplementation may counteract short-term OTA toxicity, supporting its defensive role in the cell membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
Open AccessArticle Differential Cell Sensitivity between OTA and LPS upon Releasing TNF-α
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1279-1299; doi:10.3390/toxins2061279
Received: 6 May 2010 / Revised: 28 May 2010 / Accepted: 28 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The release of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) by ochratoxin A (OTA) was studied in various macrophage and non-macrophage cell lines and compared with E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a standard TNF-α release agent. Cells were exposed either to 0, 2.5 or [...] Read more.
The release of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) by ochratoxin A (OTA) was studied in various macrophage and non-macrophage cell lines and compared with E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a standard TNF-α release agent. Cells were exposed either to 0, 2.5 or 12.5 µmol/L OTA, or to 0.1 µg/mL LPS, for up to 24 h. OTA at 2.5 µmol/L and LPS at 0.1 µg/mL were not toxic to the tested cells as indicated by viability markers. TNF-a was detected in the incubated cell medium of rat Kupffer cells, peritoneal rat macrophages, and the mouse monocyte macrophage cell line J774A.1: TNF-a concentrations were 1,000 pg/mL, 1,560 pg/mL, and 650 pg/mL, respectively, for 2.5 µmol/L OTA exposure and 3,000 pg/mL, 2,600 pg/mL, and 2,115 pg/mL, respectively, for LPS exposure. Rat liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, rat hepatocytes, human HepG2 cells, and mouse L929 cells lacked any cytokine response to OTA, but showed a significant release of TNF-a after LPS exposure, with the exception of HepG2 cells. In non-responsive cell lines, OTA lacked both any activation of NF-κB or the translocation of activated NF-κB to the cell nucleus, i.e., in mouse L929 cells. In J774A.1 cells, OTA mediated TNF-a release via the pRaf/MEK 1/2–NF-κB and p38-NF-κB pathways, whereas LPS used pRaf/MEK 1/2-NF-κB, but not p38-NF-κB pathways. In contrast, in L929 cells, LPS used other pathways to activate NF-κB. Our data indicate that only macrophages and macrophage derived cells respond to OTA and are considered as sources for TNF-a release upon OTA exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
Open AccessArticle Shiga Toxin Is Transported into the Nucleoli of Intestinal Epithelial Cells via a Carrier-Dependent Process
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1318-1335; doi:10.3390/toxins2061318
Received: 22 April 2010 / Revised: 19 May 2010 / Accepted: 3 June 2010 / Published: 7 June 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shiga toxin (Stx) produced by the invasive Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 (S. dysenteriae1) causes gastrointestinal and kidney complications. It has been assumed that Stx is released intracellularly after enterocyte invasion by S. dysenteriae1. However, there is little information about [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin (Stx) produced by the invasive Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 (S. dysenteriae1) causes gastrointestinal and kidney complications. It has been assumed that Stx is released intracellularly after enterocyte invasion by S. dysenteriae1. However, there is little information about Stx distribution inside S. dysenteriae1-infected enterocytes. Here, we use intestinal epithelial T84 cells to characterize the trafficking of Stx delivered into the cytosol, in ways that mimic aspects of S. dysenteriae1 infection. We find that cytoplasmic Stx is transported into nucleoli. Stx nucleolar movement is carrier- and energy-dependent. Stx binding to the nucleoli of normal human enterocytes in vitro supports possible roles for nucleolar trafficking in toxin-induced intestinal pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterotoxins)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Antioxidant Mixtures on Growth and Ochratoxin A Production of Aspergillus Section Nigri Species under Different Water Activity Conditions on Peanut Meal Extract Agar
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1399-1413; doi:10.3390/toxins2061399
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 26 May 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 10 June 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effect of mixtures of antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA) and propyl paraben (PP) on lag phase, growth rate and ochratoxin A (OTA) production by four Aspergillus section Nigri strains was evaluated on peanut meal extract agar (PMEA) under different water activities (a [...] Read more.
The effect of mixtures of antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA) and propyl paraben (PP) on lag phase, growth rate and ochratoxin A (OTA) production by four Aspergillus section Nigri strains was evaluated on peanut meal extract agar (PMEA) under different water activities (aw). The antioxidant mixtures used were: BHA + PP (mM), M1 (0.5 + 0.5), M2 (1.0 + 0.5), M3 (2.5 + 0.5), M4 (0.5 + 1.0), M5 (1.0 + 1.0), M6 (2.5 + 1.0), M7 (5.0 + 2.5) and M8 (10 + 2.5). The mixture M8 completely suppressed mycelial growth for all strains. A significant stimulation in OTA production was observed with mixtures M1 to M5 mainly at the highest aw; whereas M6, M7 and M8 completely inhibited OTA production in all strains assayed; except M6 in A. carbonarius strain (RCP G). These results could enable a future intervention strategy to minimize OTA contamination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ochratoxin A: In Utero Exposure in Mice Induces Adducts in Testicular DNA
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1428-1444; doi:10.3390/toxins2061428
Received: 15 April 2010 / Revised: 26 May 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 11 June 2010
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a nephrotoxin and carcinogen that is associated with Balkan endemic nephropathy and urinary tract tumors. OTA crosses the placenta and causes adducts in the liver and kidney DNA of newborns. Because the testis and kidney develop from the [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a nephrotoxin and carcinogen that is associated with Balkan endemic nephropathy and urinary tract tumors. OTA crosses the placenta and causes adducts in the liver and kidney DNA of newborns. Because the testis and kidney develop from the same embryonic tissue, we reasoned that OTA also may cause adducts transplacentally in the testis. We tested the hypothesis that acute exposure to OTA, via food and via exposure in utero, causes adducts in testicular DNA and that these lesions are identical to those that can be produced in the kidney and testis by the consumption of OTA. Adult mice received a single dose of OTA (from 0–1,056 µg/kg) by gavage. Pregnant mice received a single i.p. injection of OTA (2.5 mg/kg) at gestation day 17. DNA adducts were determined by 32P-postlabeling. Gavage-fed animals sacrificed after 48 hours accumulated OTA in kidney and testis and showed DNA adducts in kidney and testis. Some OTA metabolites isolated from the tissues were similar in both organs (kidney and testis). The litters of mice exposed prenatally to OTA showed no signs of overt toxicity. However, newborn and 1-month old males had DNA adducts in kidney and testis that were chromatographically similar to DNA adducts observed in the kidney and testis of gavage-fed adults. One adduct was identified previously as C8-dG-OTA adduct by LC MS/MS. No adducts were observed in males from dams not exposed to OTA. Our findings that in utero exposure to OTA causes adducts in the testicular DNA of male offspring support a possible role for OTA in testicular cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Ricin Toxin Activates the NALP3 Inflammasome
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1500-1514; doi:10.3390/toxins2061500
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 30 April 2010 / Accepted: 4 May 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ricin exhibits well characterized ribotoxic actions that lead to the inhibition of protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of stress activated protein kinases (SAPKs). Proinflammatory effects of ricin are thought to be caused by upregulation of genes encoding proinflammatory transcripts as a result [...] Read more.
Ricin exhibits well characterized ribotoxic actions that lead to the inhibition of protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of stress activated protein kinases (SAPKs). Proinflammatory effects of ricin are thought to be caused by upregulation of genes encoding proinflammatory transcripts as a result of the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK. We reported previously that macrophages and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signaling are required for murine host immune responses to ricin delivered to the lungs. Here we report that ricin-mediated IL-1β release from bone-marrow derived macrophages is dependent on the NALP3 inflammasome, a scaffolding complex that mediates pro-IL-1β cleavage to active IL-1β by caspase-1. Release of IL-1β from macrophages was suppressed by the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and high extracellular K+, which are two agents known to inhibit NALP3/cryopyrin/CIAS1 inflammasome formation. By employing inhibitors of p38 MAPK and JNK, we demonstrated that ricin-mediated release of IL-1β was enhanced, rather than suppressed, by inhibition of SAPK phosphorylation. In contrast, proteasomal inhibitors bortezomib and MG-132 completely suppressed ricin-induced IL-1β release from macrophages. These data suggest that ricin-mediated translational inhibition itself, by fostering the disappearance of labile protein(s) that normally suppress inflammasome formation, may constitute the mechanism underlying IL-1-dependent inflammatory signaling by ricin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessArticle Development and Characterization of a Monoclonal Antibody against Ochratoxin B and Its Application in ELISA
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1582-1594; doi:10.3390/toxins2061582
Received: 26 March 2010 / Revised: 8 June 2010 / Accepted: 18 June 2010 / Published: 21 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | XML Full-text
Abstract
A monoclonal antibody specific to ochratoxin B (OTB) was employed for the development of an indirect competitive OTB-ELISA. The optimized OTB-ELISA resulted in a limit of detection (LOD) for OTB of 3 µg/L (8 nM), a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 3.7 [...] Read more.
A monoclonal antibody specific to ochratoxin B (OTB) was employed for the development of an indirect competitive OTB-ELISA. The optimized OTB-ELISA resulted in a limit of detection (LOD) for OTB of 3 µg/L (8 nM), a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 3.7 µg/L (10 nM), and a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 150 nM. Due to very low cross-reactivity to OTA (2.7%) and structurally related molecules (0%), this OTB-ELISA was found to be suitable to detect OTB with excellent precision in different matrices, i.e., beer, coffee and wine. Therefore, this OTB-ELISA will allow screening of OTB in food and feed products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Serine Protease Autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae (SPATEs): Biogenesis and Function
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1179-1206; doi:10.3390/toxins2061179
Received: 2 April 2010 / Revised: 17 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 28 May 2010
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Serine Protease Autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae (SPATEs) constitute a large family of proteases secreted by Escherichia coli and Shigella. SPATEs exhibit two distinct proteolytic activities. First, a C-terminal catalytic site triggers an intra-molecular cleavage that releases the N-terminal portion of these proteins [...] Read more.
Serine Protease Autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae (SPATEs) constitute a large family of proteases secreted by Escherichia coli and Shigella. SPATEs exhibit two distinct proteolytic activities. First, a C-terminal catalytic site triggers an intra-molecular cleavage that releases the N-terminal portion of these proteins in the extracellular medium. Second, the secreted N-terminal domains of SPATEs are themselves proteases; each contains a canonical serine-protease catalytic site. Some of these secreted proteases are toxins, eliciting various effects on mammalian cells. Here, we discuss the biogenesis of SPATEs and their function as toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
Open AccessReview Overcoming Multidrug Resistance in Human Cancer Cells by Natural Compounds
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1207-1224; doi:10.3390/toxins2061207
Received: 30 April 2010 / Revised: 26 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 28 May 2010
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multidrug resistance is a phenomenon whereby tumors become resistant to structurally unrelated anticancer drugs. P-glycoprotein belongs to the large ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily of membrane transport proteins. P-glycoprotein mediates resistance to various classes of anticancer drugs including vinblastine, daunorubicin, and paclitaxel, [...] Read more.
Multidrug resistance is a phenomenon whereby tumors become resistant to structurally unrelated anticancer drugs. P-glycoprotein belongs to the large ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily of membrane transport proteins. P-glycoprotein mediates resistance to various classes of anticancer drugs including vinblastine, daunorubicin, and paclitaxel, by actively extruding the drugs from the cells. The quest for inhibitors of anticancer drug efflux transporters has uncovered natural compounds, including (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, capsaicin, and guggulsterone, as promising candidates. In this review, studies on the effects of natural compounds on P-glycoprotein and anticancer drug efflux transporters are summarized. Full article
Open AccessReview Ochratoxin A in Portugal: A Review to Assess Human Exposure
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1225-1249; doi:10.3390/toxins2061225
Received: 7 May 2010 / Revised: 17 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Portugal, the climate, dietary habits, and food contamination levels present the characteristics for higher population susceptibility to ochratoxin A (OTA), one of the known mycotoxins with the greatest public health and agro-economic importance. In this review, following a brief historical insight [...] Read more.
In Portugal, the climate, dietary habits, and food contamination levels present the characteristics for higher population susceptibility to ochratoxin A (OTA), one of the known mycotoxins with the greatest public health and agro-economic importance. In this review, following a brief historical insight on OTA research, a summary of the available data on OTA occurrence in food (cereals, bread, wine, meat) and biological fluids (blood, urine) is made. With this data, an estimation of intake is made to ascertain and update the risk exposure estimation of the Portuguese population, in comparison to previous studies and other populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
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Open AccessReview Toxins and Secretion Systems of Photorhabdus luminescens
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1250-1264; doi:10.3390/toxins2061250
Received: 31 March 2010 / Revised: 22 May 2010 / Accepted: 28 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae.Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and [...] Read more.
Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae.Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and characterized in this bacterium. These toxins are classified into four major groups: the toxin complexes (Tcs), the Photorhabdus insect related (Pir) proteins, the “makes caterpillars floppy” (Mcf) toxins and the Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC); the mechanisms however of toxin secretion are not fully elucidated. Using bioinformatics analysis and comparison against the components of known secretion systems, multiple copies of components of all known secretion systems, except the ones composing a type IV secretion system, were identified throughout the entire genome of the bacterium. This indicates that Photorhabdus luminescens has all the necessary means for the secretion of virulence factors, thus it is capable of establishing a microbial infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
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Open AccessReview Deoxynivalenol-Induced Proinflammatory Gene Expression: Mechanisms and Pathological Sequelae
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1300-1317; doi:10.3390/toxins2061300
Received: 14 May 2010 / Revised: 25 May 2010 / Accepted: 28 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 43 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is commonly encountered in human cereal foods throughout the world as a result of infestation of grains in the field and in storage by the fungus Fusarium. Significant questions remain regarding the risks posed to humans [...] Read more.
The trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is commonly encountered in human cereal foods throughout the world as a result of infestation of grains in the field and in storage by the fungus Fusarium. Significant questions remain regarding the risks posed to humans from acute and chronic DON ingestion, and how to manage these risks without imperiling access to nutritionally important food commodities. Modulation of the innate immune system appears particularly critical to DON’s toxic effects. Specifically, DON induces activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in macrophages and monocytes, which mediate robust induction of proinflammatory gene expression—effects that can be recapitulated in intact animals. The initiating mechanisms for DON-induced ribotoxic stress response appear to involve the (1) activation of constitutive protein kinases on the damaged ribosome and (2) autophagy of the chaperone GRP78 with consequent activation of the ER stress response. Pathological sequelae resulting from chronic low dose exposure include anorexia, impaired weight gain, growth hormone dysregulation and aberrant IgA production whereas acute high dose exposure evokes gastroenteritis, emesis and a shock-like syndrome. Taken together, the capacity of DON to evoke ribotoxic stress in mononuclear phagocytes contributes significantly to its acute and chronic toxic effects in vivo. It is anticipated that these investigations will enable the identification of robust biomarkers of effect that will be applicable to epidemiological studies of the human health effects of this common mycotoxin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessReview On the Interaction of Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin with Claudins
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1336-1356; doi:10.3390/toxins2061336
Received: 5 May 2010 / Revised: 21 May 2010 / Accepted: 4 June 2010 / Published: 8 June 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens causes one of the most common foodborne illnesses, which is largely mediated by the Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). The toxin consists of two functional domains. The N-terminal region mediates the cytotoxic effect through pore formation in the plasma membrane of [...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens causes one of the most common foodborne illnesses, which is largely mediated by the Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). The toxin consists of two functional domains. The N-terminal region mediates the cytotoxic effect through pore formation in the plasma membrane of the mammalian host cell. The C-terminal region (cCPE) binds to the second extracellular loop of a subset of claudins. Claudin-3 and claudin-4 have been shown to be receptors for CPE with very high affinity. The toxin binds with weak affinity to claudin-1 and -2 but contribution of these weak binding claudins to CPE-mediated disease is questionable. cCPE is not cytotoxic, however, it is a potent modulator of tight junctions. This review describes recent progress in the molecular characterization of the cCPE-claudin interaction using mutagenesis, in vitro binding assays and permeation studies. The results promote the development of recombinant cCPE-proteins and CPE-based peptidomimetics to modulate tight junctions for improved drug delivery or to treat tumors overexpressing claudins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterotoxins)
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Open AccessReview The Glucocorticoid Receptor: A Revisited Target for Toxins
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1357-1380; doi:10.3390/toxins2061357
Received: 15 May 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and glucocorticoid responses are critical for survival from a number of bacterial, viral and toxic insults, demonstrated by the fact that removal of the HPA axis or GR blockade enhances mortality rates. Replacement with synthetic glucocorticoids reverses [...] Read more.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and glucocorticoid responses are critical for survival from a number of bacterial, viral and toxic insults, demonstrated by the fact that removal of the HPA axis or GR blockade enhances mortality rates. Replacement with synthetic glucocorticoids reverses these effects by providing protection against lethal effects. Glucocorticoid resistance/insensitivity is a common problem in the treatment of many diseases. Much research has focused on the molecular mechanism behind this resistance, but an area that has been neglected is the role of infectious agents and toxins. We have recently shown that the anthrax lethal toxin is able to repress glucocorticoid receptor function. Data suggesting that the glucocorticoid receptor may be a target for a variety of toxins is reviewed here. These studies have important implications for glucocorticoid therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessReview Molecular Mechanism of Ochratoxin A Transport in the Kidney
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1381-1398; doi:10.3390/toxins2061381
Received: 15 April 2010 / Revised: 11 May 2010 / Accepted: 9 June 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mycotoxin, ochratoxin A (OTA), is thought to be responsible for Balkan endemic nephropathy. OTA accumulates in several tissues, especially in the kidneys and liver. The excretion of OTA into urine is thought to be mainly by tubular secretion, presumably via the [...] Read more.
The mycotoxin, ochratoxin A (OTA), is thought to be responsible for Balkan endemic nephropathy. OTA accumulates in several tissues, especially in the kidneys and liver. The excretion of OTA into urine is thought to be mainly by tubular secretion, presumably via the organic anion transport system. Recently, several families of multispecific organic anion transporters have been identified: organic anion transporters (OATs), organic anion-transporting polypeptides (OATPs), oligopeptide transporters (PEPTs), and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, such as MRP2 and BCRP. These renal transporters mediate the transmembrane transport of OTA and play a pivotal role in the development of OTA-induced nephrotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
Open AccessReview «Suspects» in Etiology of Endemic Nephropathy: Aristolochic Acid versus Mycotoxins
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1414-1427; doi:10.3390/toxins2061414
Received: 13 May 2010 / Revised: 7 June 2010 / Accepted: 10 June 2010 / Published: 11 June 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite many hypotheses that have been challenged, the etiology of endemic nephropathy (EN) is still unknown. At present, the implications of aristolochic acid (AA) and mycotoxins (ochratoxin A—OTA and citrinin—CIT) are under debate. AA-theory is based on renal pathohistological similarities between Chinese [...] Read more.
Despite many hypotheses that have been challenged, the etiology of endemic nephropathy (EN) is still unknown. At present, the implications of aristolochic acid (AA) and mycotoxins (ochratoxin A—OTA and citrinin—CIT) are under debate. AA-theory is based on renal pathohistological similarities between Chinese herbs nephropathy (CHN) and EN, findings of AA-DNA adducts in EN and in patients with urinary tract tumors (UTT), as well as the domination of A:T→T:A transversions in the p53 mutational spectrum of UTT patients, which corresponds with findings of such mutations in AA-treated rats. However, exposure pathways of EN residents to AA are unclear. Experimental studies attempting to deduce whether nephrotoxins OTA and CIT appear at higher frequencies or levels (or both) in the food and blood or urine of EN residents support the mycotoxin theory. Also, some molecular studies revealed the presence of OTA-DNA adducts in the renal tissue of EN and UTT patients. In this review, data supporting or arguing against AA and mycotoxin theory are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
Open AccessReview Heat-Labile Enterotoxin: Beyond G M1 Binding
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1445-1470; doi:10.3390/toxins2061445
Received: 29 April 2010 / Revised: 22 May 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One major virulence factor released by ETEC is the heat-labile enterotoxin LT, which is structurally and functionally similar to cholera toxin. LT consists of five B subunits carrying a [...] Read more.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One major virulence factor released by ETEC is the heat-labile enterotoxin LT, which is structurally and functionally similar to cholera toxin. LT consists of five B subunits carrying a single catalytically active A subunit. LTB binds the monosialoganglioside GM1, the toxin’s host receptor, but interactions with A-type blood sugars and E. coli lipopolysaccharide have also been identified within the past decade. Here, we review the regulation, assembly, and binding properties of the LT B-subunit pentamer and discuss the possible roles of its numerous molecular interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterotoxins)
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Open AccessReview Synthetic α-Conotoxin Mutants as Probes for Studying Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and in the Development of Novel Drug Leads
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1471-1499; doi:10.3390/toxins2061471
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 27 May 2010 / Accepted: 11 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (831 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
α-Conotoxins are peptide neurotoxins isolated from venomous marine cone snails that are potent and selective antagonists for different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). As such, they are valuable probes for dissecting the role that nAChRs play in nervous system function. In [...] Read more.
α-Conotoxins are peptide neurotoxins isolated from venomous marine cone snails that are potent and selective antagonists for different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). As such, they are valuable probes for dissecting the role that nAChRs play in nervous system function. In recent years, extensive insight into the binding mechanisms of α-conotoxins with nAChRs at the molecular level has aided in the design of synthetic analogs with improved pharmacological properties. This review examines the structure-activity relationship studies involving α-conotoxins as research tools for studying nAChRs in the central and peripheral nervous systems and their use towards the development of novel therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxins from Aquatic Organisms)
Open AccessReview Shiga Toxins: Intracellular Trafficking to the ER Leading to Activation of Host Cell Stress Responses
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1515-1535; doi:10.3390/toxins2061515
Received: 27 April 2010 / Revised: 18 May 2010 / Accepted: 1 June 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite efforts to improve hygenic conditions and regulate food and drinking water safety, the enteric pathogens, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 remain major public health concerns due to widespread outbreaks and the severity of extra-intestinal diseases they [...] Read more.
Despite efforts to improve hygenic conditions and regulate food and drinking water safety, the enteric pathogens, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 remain major public health concerns due to widespread outbreaks and the severity of extra-intestinal diseases they cause, including acute renal failure and central nervous system complications. Shiga toxins are the key virulence factors expressed by these pathogens mediating extra-intestinal disease. Delivery of the toxins to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) results in host cell protein synthesis inhibition, activation of the ribotoxic stress response, the ER stress response, and in some cases, the induction of apoptosis. Intrinsic and/or extrinsic apoptosis inducing pathways are involved in executing cell death following intoxication. In this review we provide an overview of the current understanding Shiga toxin intracellular trafficking, host cellular responses to the toxin and ER stress-induced apoptosis with an emphasis on recent findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessReview Molecularly Imprinted Polymers for Ochratoxin A Extraction and Analysis
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1536-1553; doi:10.3390/toxins2061536
Received: 2 June 2010 / Revised: 16 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 June 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are considered as polymeric materials that mimic the functionality of antibodies. MIPs have been utilized for a wide variety of applications in chromatography, solid phase extraction, immunoassays, and sensor recognition. In this article, recent advances of MIPs for [...] Read more.
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are considered as polymeric materials that mimic the functionality of antibodies. MIPs have been utilized for a wide variety of applications in chromatography, solid phase extraction, immunoassays, and sensor recognition. In this article, recent advances of MIPs for the extraction and analysis of ochratoxins are discussed. Selection of functional monomers to bind ochratoxin A (OTA) with high affinities, optimization of extraction procedures, and limitations of MIPs are compared from different reports. The most relevant examples in the literature are described to clearly show how useful these materials are. Strategies on MIP preparation and schemes of analytical methods are also reviewed in order to suggest the next step that would make better use of MIPs in the field of ochratoxin research. The review ends by outlining the remaining issues and impediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ochratoxins)
Open AccessReview Procoagulant Adaptation of a Blood Coagulation Prothrombinase-like Enzyme Complex in Australian Elapid Venom
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1554-1567; doi:10.3390/toxins2061554
Received: 30 March 2010 / Revised: 4 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 June 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The macromolecular enzyme complex prothrombinase serves an indispensable role in blood coagulation as it catalyzes the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin, a key regulatory enzyme in the formation of a blood clot. Interestingly, a virtually identical enzyme complex is found in the [...] Read more.
The macromolecular enzyme complex prothrombinase serves an indispensable role in blood coagulation as it catalyzes the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin, a key regulatory enzyme in the formation of a blood clot. Interestingly, a virtually identical enzyme complex is found in the venom of some Australian elapid snakes, which is composed of a cofactor factor Va-component and a serine protease factor Xa-like subunit. This review will provide an overview of the identification and characterization of the venom prothrombinase complex and will discuss the rationale for its powerful procoagulant nature responsible for the potent hemostatic toxicity of the elapid venom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
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Open AccessReview Arsenic in Cancer Treatment: Challenges for Application of Realgar Nanoparticles (A Minireview)
Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1568-1581; doi:10.3390/toxins2061568
Received: 18 April 2010 / Revised: 17 June 2010 / Accepted: 18 June 2010 / Published: 21 June 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While intensive efforts have been made for the treatment of cancer, this disease is still the second leading cause of death in many countries. Metastatic breast cancer, late-stage colon cancer, malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, and other forms of cancer are still essentially [...] Read more.
While intensive efforts have been made for the treatment of cancer, this disease is still the second leading cause of death in many countries. Metastatic breast cancer, late-stage colon cancer, malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, and other forms of cancer are still essentially incurable in most cases. Recent advances in genomic technologies have permitted the simultaneous evaluation of DNA sequence-based alterations together with copy number gains and losses. The requirement for a multi-targeting approach is the common theme that emerges from these studies. Therefore, the combination of new targeted biological and cytotoxic agents is currently under investigation in multimodal treatment regimens. Similarly, a combinational principle is applied in traditional Chinese medicine, as formulas consist of several types of medicinal herbs or minerals, in which one represents the principal component, and the others serve as adjuvant ones that assist the effects, or facilitate the delivery, of the principal component. In Western medicine, approximately 60 different arsenic preparations have been developed and used in pharmacological history. In traditional Chinese medicines, different forms of mineral arsenicals (orpiment—As2S3, realgar—As4S4, and arsenolite—arsenic trioxide, As2O3) are used, and realgar alone is included in 22 oral remedies that are recognized by the Chinese Pharmacopeia Committee (2005). It is known that a significant portion of some forms of mineral arsenicals is poorly absorbed into the body, and would be unavailable to cause systemic damage. This review primary focuses on the application of arsenic sulfide (realgar) for treatment of various forms of cancer in vitro and in vivo. Full article

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