Toxins2016, 8(7), 196; doi:10.3390/toxins8070196 (registering DOI) - published 28 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) traditionally have been analyzed by liquid chromatography with either pre- or post-column derivatization and always with a silica-based stationary phase. This technique resulted in different methods that need more than one run to analyze the toxins. Furthermore, tetrodotoxin (TTX) was recently found in bivalves of northward locations in Europe due to climate change, so it is important to analyze it along with PST because their signs of toxicity are similar in the bioassay. The methods described here detail a new approach to eliminate different runs, by using a new porous graphitic carbon stationary phase. Firstly we describe the separation of 13 PST that belong to different groups, taking into account the side-chains of substituents, in one single run of less than 30 min with good reproducibility. The method was assayed in four shellfish matrices: mussel (Mytillus galloprovincialis), clam (Pecten maximus), scallop (Ruditapes decussatus) and oyster (Ostrea edulis). The results for all of the parameters studied are provided, and the detection limits for the majority of toxins were improved with regard to previous liquid chromatography methods: the lowest values were those for decarbamoyl-gonyautoxin 2 (dcGTX2) and gonyautoxin 2 (GTX2) in mussel (0.0001 mg saxitoxin (STX)·diHCl kg−1 for each toxin), decarbamoyl-saxitoxin (dcSTX) in clam (0.0003 mg STX·diHCl kg−1), N-sulfocarbamoyl-gonyautoxins 2 and 3 (C1 and C2) in scallop (0.0001 mg STX·diHCl kg−1 for each toxin) and dcSTX (0.0003 mg STX·diHCl kg−1 ) in oyster; gonyautoxin 2 (GTX2) showed the highest limit of detection in oyster (0.0366 mg STX·diHCl kg−1). Secondly, we propose a modification of the method for the simultaneous analysis of PST and TTX, with some minor changes in the solvent gradient, although the detection limit for TTX does not allow its use nowadays for regulatory purposes.
Toxins2016, 8(7), 194; doi:10.3390/toxins8070194 (registering DOI) - published 25 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tetanus is caused by the tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) and is one of the most dreaded diseases especially in the developing countries. The current vaccine against tetanus is based on an inactivated tetanus toxin, which is effective but has many drawbacks. In our previous study, we developed a recombinant tetanus vaccine based on protein TeNT-Hc, with clear advantages over the toxoid vaccine in terms of production, characterization, and homogeneity. In this study, the titers, growth extinction, and persistence of specific antibodies induced by the two types of vaccine in mice, rats, and cynomolgus monkeys were compared. The booster vaccination efficacy of the two types of vaccines at different time points and protection mechanism in animals were also compared. The recombinant tetanus vaccine induced persistent and better antibody titers and strengthened the immunity compared with the commercially available toxoid vaccine in animals. Our results provide a theoretical basis for the development of a safe and effective recombinant tetanus vaccine to enhance the immunity of adolescents and adults as a substitute for the current toxoid vaccine.
Abstract: Food safety has attracted extensive attention around the world, and food-borne diseases have become one of the major threats to health. Staphylococcus aureus is a major food-borne pathogen worldwide and a frequent contaminant of foodstuffs. Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) produced by some S. aureus strains will lead to staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreaks. The most common symptoms caused by ingestion of SEs within food are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. Children will suffer SFP by ingesting as little as 100 ng of SEs, and only a few micrograms of SEs are enough to cause SPF in vulnerable populations. Therefore, it is a great challenge and of urgent need to detect and identify SEs rapidly and accurately for governmental and non-governmental agencies, including the military, public health departments, and health care facilities. Herein, an overview of SE detection has been provided through a comprehensive literature survey.
Abstract: Toxic weaponry in the form of venom and poison has evolved in most groups of animals, including all four major lineages of tetrapods. Moreover, the evolution of such traits has been linked to several key aspects of the biology of toxic animals including life-history and diversification. Despite this, attempts to investigate the macroevolutionary patterns underlying such weaponry are lacking. In this study we analyse patterns of venom and poison evolution across reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds using a suite of phylogenetic comparative methods. We find that each major lineage has a characteristic pattern of trait evolution, but mammals and reptiles evolve under a surprisingly similar regime, whilst that of amphibians appears to be particularly distinct and highly contrasting compared to other groups. Our results also suggest that the mechanism of toxin acquisition may be an important distinction in such evolutionary patterns; the evolution of biosynthesis is far less dynamic than that of sequestration of toxins from the diet. Finally, contrary to the situation in amphibians, other tetrapod groups show an association between the evolution of toxic weaponry and higher diversification rates. Taken together, our study provides the first broad-scale analysis of macroevolutionary patterns of venom and poison throughout tetrapods.
Abstract: The anti-CD20 mAb Rituximab has revolutionized lymphoma therapy, in spite of a number of unresponsive or relapsing patients. Immunotoxins, consisting of toxins coupled to antibodies, are being investigated for their potential ability to augment Rituximab efficacy. Here, we compare the anti-tumor effect of high- and low-molecular-weight Rituximab/saporin-S6 immunotoxins, named HMW-IT and LMW-IT, respectively. Saporin-S6 is a potent and stable plant enzyme belonging to ribosome-inactivating proteins that causes protein synthesis arrest and consequent cell death. Saporin-S6 was conjugated to Rituximab through an artificial disulfide bond. The inhibitory activity of HMW-IT and LMW-IT was evaluated on cell-free protein synthesis and in two CD20+ lymphoma cell lines, Raji and D430B. Two different conjugates were separated on the basis of their molecular weight and further characterized. Both HMW-IT (dimeric) and LMW-IT (monomeric) maintained a high level of enzymatic activity in a cell-free system. HMW-IT, thanks to a higher toxin payload and more efficient antigen capping, showed stronger in vitro anti-tumor efficacy than LMW-IT against lymphoma cells. Dimeric HMW-IT can be used for lymphoma therapy at least for ex vivo treatments. The possibility of using HMW-IT augments the yield in immunotoxin preparation and allows the targeting of antigens with low internalization rates.
Abstract: Ear rot is a serious disease that affects maize yield and grain quality worldwide. The mycotoxins are often hazardous to humans and livestock. In samples collected in China between 2009 and 2014, Fusarium verticillioides and F. graminearum species complex were the dominant fungi causing ear rot. According to the TEF-1α gene sequence, F. graminearum species complex in China included three independent species: F. graminearum, F. meridionale, and F. boothii. The key gene FUM1 responsible for the biosynthesis of fumonisin was detected in all 82 F. verticillioides isolates. Among these, 57 isolates mainly produced fumonisin B1, ranging from 2.52 to 18,416.44 µg/g for each gram of dry hyphal weight, in vitro. Three different toxigenic chemotypes were detected among 78 F. graminearum species complex: 15-ADON, NIV and 15-ADON+NIV. Sixty and 16 isolates represented the 15-ADON and NIV chemotypes, respectively; two isolates carried both 15-ADON and NIV-producing segments. All the isolates carrying NIV-specific segment were F. meridionale. The in vitro production of 15-ADON, 3-ADON, DON, and ZEN varied from 5.43 to 81,539.49; 6.04 to 19,590.61; 13.35 to 19,795.33; and 1.77 to 430.24 µg/g of dry hyphal weight, respectively. Altogether, our present data demonstrate potential main mycotoxin production of dominant pathogenic Fusarium in China.