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Toxins, Volume 3, Issue 5 (May 2011), Pages 420-503

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Accumulation Kinetics of Three Scirpentriol-Based Toxins in Oats Inoculated in Vitro with Isolates of Fusarium sporotrichioides and Fusarium poae
Toxins 2011, 3(5), 442-452; doi:10.3390/toxins3050442
Received: 24 March 2011 / Revised: 27 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 9 May 2011
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Abstract
Autoclaved oats were inoculated with a strain of Fusarium sporotrichioides or Fusarium poae. Moisture content of oats after inoculation was at 38%, incubation took place in standing culture at 28 °C. The A-type trichothecenes, 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol (4,15-DAS), 15-monoacetoxyscirpenol (15-MAS), and scirpentriol (SCIRP) were [...] Read more.
Autoclaved oats were inoculated with a strain of Fusarium sporotrichioides or Fusarium poae. Moisture content of oats after inoculation was at 38%, incubation took place in standing culture at 28 °C. The A-type trichothecenes, 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol (4,15-DAS), 15-monoacetoxyscirpenol (15-MAS), and scirpentriol (SCIRP) were analyzed by GC/MS. For each strain, three culture flasks were harvested at 2–3 day intervals starting immediately after inoculation. Total incubation time was 42 days (F. poae) and 56 days (F. sporotrichioides). Following peak accumulation, 4,15-DAS decreased below the detection limit for both strains, 15-MAS decreased below this limit for the isolate of F. sporotrichioides, for the isolate of F. poae it decreased to a level markedly below the peak value. SCIRP, after having peaked, decreased to some extent for the strain F. sporotrichioides, with a significant (P = 0.0029) negative linear regression of toxin content against culture age during this period. The content of 15-MAS, and in part also of 4,15-DAS, decreased along with an increase of SCIRP. This sequential accumulation pattern suggests the successive induction of esterases deacetylating 4,15-DAS and 15-MAS, as well as of enzymes involved in the metabolization of the parent alcohol, SCIRP. The results may explain, at least in part, the somewhat higher incidence in naturally contaminated compounds reported in the literature for SCIRP compared to 4,15-DAS and 15-MAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trichothecenes)
Open AccessArticle Inhibition of the Unfolded Protein Response by Ricin A-Chain Enhances Its Cytotoxicity in Mammalian Cells
Toxins 2011, 3(5), 453-468; doi:10.3390/toxins3050453
Received: 16 April 2011 / Revised: 26 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 10 May 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ricin is a highly toxic type II ribosome-inactivating protein that has potential as a biochemical weapon and as the toxic component of immunotoxins. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a survival response that helps cells to recover from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. [...] Read more.
Ricin is a highly toxic type II ribosome-inactivating protein that has potential as a biochemical weapon and as the toxic component of immunotoxins. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a survival response that helps cells to recover from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Failure to recover from ER stress leads to apoptosis. In yeast, ricin-A-chain (RTA), the enzymatic component of ricin, inhibits UPR. Our goals were to determine if RTA inhibits UPR in two epithelial cell lines and if this affects RTA cytotoxicity. RTA alone did not induce UPR. However, RTA inhibited both phosphorylation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) and splicing of X-box binding protein1 mRNA by the UPR-inducing agent tunicamycin (Tm). The ability of dithiothreitol (DTT) to activate eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α), a component of the PERK pathway, was also inhibited by RTA. Treatment with RTA in combination with Tm or DTT inhibited protein synthesis more than either agent did alone in one cell line, while caspase cleavage was enhanced by the treatment combination in both cell lines. These data indicate that RTA is more cytotoxic when UPR is inhibited. This ability to inhibit UPR may enhance the potential of RTA as a therapeutic immunotoxin in solid tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessArticle Alpha-Latrotoxin Rescues SNAP-25 from BoNT/A-Mediated Proteolysis in Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons
Toxins 2011, 3(5), 489-503; doi:10.3390/toxins3050489
Received: 11 March 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 29 April 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (501 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit zinc-dependent proteolytic activity against members of the core synaptic membrane fusion complex, preventing neurotransmitter release and resulting in neuromuscular paralysis. No pharmacologic therapies have been identified that clinically relieve botulinum poisoning. The black widow spider venom α-latrotoxin [...] Read more.
The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit zinc-dependent proteolytic activity against members of the core synaptic membrane fusion complex, preventing neurotransmitter release and resulting in neuromuscular paralysis. No pharmacologic therapies have been identified that clinically relieve botulinum poisoning. The black widow spider venom α-latrotoxin (LTX) has the potential to attenuate the severity or duration of BoNT-induced paralysis in neurons via the induction of synaptic degeneration and remodeling. The potential for LTX to antagonize botulinum poisoning was evaluated in embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs), using a novel screening assay designed around the kinetics of BoNT/A activation. Exposure of ESNs to 400 pM LTX for 6.5 or 13 min resulted in the nearly complete restoration of uncleaved SNAP-25 within 48 h, whereas treatment with 60 mM K+ had no effect. Time-lapse imaging demonstrated that LTX treatment caused a profound increase in Ca2+ influx and evidence of excitotoxicity, though ESNs remained viable 48 h after LTX treatment. This is the first instance of a cell-based treatment that has shown the ability to eliminate BoNT activity. These data suggest that LTX treatment may provide the basis for a new class of therapeutic approach to BoNT intoxication and may contribute to an improved understanding of long-term mechanisms of BoNT intoxication and recovery. They further demonstrate that ESNs are a novel, responsive and biologically relevant model for LTX research and BoNT therapeutic drug discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Botulinum Toxin Drugs)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Use of Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins from Sambucus for the Construction of Immunotoxins and Conjugates for Cancer Therapy
Toxins 2011, 3(5), 420-441; doi:10.3390/toxins3050420
Received: 28 February 2011 / Revised: 2 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 29 April 2011
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The type 2 ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) isolated from some species belonging to the Sambucus genus, have the characteristic that although being even more active than ricin inhibiting protein synthesis in cell-free extracts, they lack the high toxicity of ricin and related type [...] Read more.
The type 2 ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) isolated from some species belonging to the Sambucus genus, have the characteristic that although being even more active than ricin inhibiting protein synthesis in cell-free extracts, they lack the high toxicity of ricin and related type 2 RIPs to intact cells and animals. This is due to the fact that after internalization, they follow a different intracellular pathway that does not allow them to reach the cytosolic ribosomes. The lack of toxicity of type 2 RIPs from Sambucus make them good candidates as toxic moieties in the construction of immunotoxins and conjugates directed against specific targets. Up to now they have been conjugated with either transferrin or anti-CD105 to target either transferrin receptor- or endoglin-overexpressing cells, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunotoxins)
Open AccessReview Botulinum Neurotoxins and Botulism: A Novel Therapeutic Approach
Toxins 2011, 3(5), 469-488; doi:10.3390/toxins3050469
Received: 8 April 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma) together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably [...] Read more.
Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma) together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably by blocking the binding of receptor binding (R) domain to the neuronal receptors; thus inhibiting cellular entry of the holo-BoNT. The antibody cannot neutralize the intracellular toxin. Moreover, a conventional antibody with relatively large molecular size (150 kDa) is not accessible to the enzymatic groove and, thus, cannot directly inhibit the BoNT zinc metalloprotease activity. Recently, a 15–20 kDa single domain antibody (VHH) that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage display library. The VHH has high sequence homology (>80%) to the human VH and could block the enzymatic activity of the BoNT. Molecular docking revealed not only the interface binding between the VHH and the toxin but also an insertion of the VHH CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the VHH to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP), the CPP-VHH fusion protein would be able to traverse the hydrophobic cell membrane into the cytoplasm and inhibit the intracellular BoNT. This presents a novel and safe immunotherapeutic strategy for botulism by using a cell penetrating, humanized-single domain antibody that inhibits the BoNT by means of a direct blockade of the groove of the menace enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Botulinum Toxin Drugs)

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