Open AccessArticle
Arcanobacterium haemolyticum Phospholipase D Enzymatic Activity Promotes the Hemolytic Activity of the Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysin Arcanolysin
Toxins 2018, 10(6), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10060213 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Arcanolysin, produced by the human pathogen Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, is a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin. To mediate the pore-formation process, arcanolysin is secreted by A. haemolyticum and then must interact with cholesterol embedded within a host membrane. However, arcanolysin must compete with membrane components, such
[...] Read more.
Arcanolysin, produced by the human pathogen Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, is a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin. To mediate the pore-formation process, arcanolysin is secreted by A. haemolyticum and then must interact with cholesterol embedded within a host membrane. However, arcanolysin must compete with membrane components, such as the phospholipid sphingomyelin, to interact with cholesterol and form pores. Cholesterol forms transient hydrogen bonds with the extracellular portion of sphingomyelin, shielding cholesterol from extracellular factors, including arcanolysin. A. haemolyticum also produces a sphingomyelin-specific phospholipase D, which removes the choline head from sphingomyelin, leaving cyclic-ceramide phosphate and eliminating the potential for cholesterol sequestration. We hypothesized that the enzymatic activity of phospholipase D decreases sphingomyelin-mediated cholesterol sequestration and increases cholesterol accessibility for arcanolysin. Using purified arcanolysin and phospholipase D, we demonstrate that the enzymatic activity of phospholipase D is necessary to promote arcanolysin-mediated hemolysis in both time- and concentration-dependent manners. Phospholipase D promotion of arcanolysin-mediated cytotoxicity was confirmed in Detroit 562 epithelial cells. Furthermore, we determined that incubating phospholipase D with erythrocytes corresponds with an increase in the amount of arcanolysin bound to host membranes. This observation suggests that phospholipase D promotes arcanolysin-mediated cytotoxicity by increasing the ability of arcanolysin to bind to a host membrane. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Action and Cell Death Associated with Clostridium perfringens Toxins
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050212 -
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens uses its large arsenal of protein toxins to produce histotoxic, neurologic and intestinal infections in humans and animals. The major toxins involved in diseases are alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX), iota (ITX), enterotoxin (CPE), and necrotic B-like (NetB) toxins. CPA
[...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens uses its large arsenal of protein toxins to produce histotoxic, neurologic and intestinal infections in humans and animals. The major toxins involved in diseases are alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX), iota (ITX), enterotoxin (CPE), and necrotic B-like (NetB) toxins. CPA is the main virulence factor involved in gas gangrene in humans, whereas its role in animal diseases is limited and controversial. CPB is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia, mostly in neonatal individuals of many animal species, including humans. ETX is the main toxin involved in enterotoxemia of sheep and goats. ITX has been implicated in cases of enteritis in rabbits and other animal species; however, its specific role in causing disease has not been proved. CPE is responsible for human food-poisoning and non-foodborne C. perfringens-mediated diarrhea. NetB is the cause of necrotic enteritis in chickens. In most cases, host–toxin interaction starts on the plasma membrane of target cells via specific receptors, resulting in the activation of intracellular pathways with a variety of effects, commonly including cell death. In general, the molecular mechanisms of cell death associated with C. perfringens toxins involve features of apoptosis, necrosis and/or necroptosis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Development of a Highly Sensitive FcMito qPCR Assay for the Quantification of the Toxigenic Fungal Plant Pathogen Fusarium culmorum
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050211 -
Abstract
Fusarium culmorum is a ubiquitous, soil-borne fungus (ascomycete) causing foot and root rot and Fusarium head blight on cereals. It is responsible for yield and quality losses as well as grain contamination with mycotoxins, which are a potential health hazard. An extremely sensitive
[...] Read more.
Fusarium culmorum is a ubiquitous, soil-borne fungus (ascomycete) causing foot and root rot and Fusarium head blight on cereals. It is responsible for yield and quality losses as well as grain contamination with mycotoxins, which are a potential health hazard. An extremely sensitive mitochondrial-based qPCR assay (FcMito qPCR) for quantification of F. culmorum was developed in this study. To provide specificity, the FcMito assay was successfully validated against 85 F. culmorum strains and 53 isolates of 30 other fungal species. The assay efficiency and sensitivity were evaluated against different F. culmorum strains with various amounts of pure fungal DNA and in the presence of background wheat DNA. The results demonstrated the high efficiency of the assay (97.2–106.0%, R2-values > 0.99). It was also shown that, in the presence of background DNA, 0.01 pg of fungal template could be reliably quantified. The FcMito assay was used to quantify F. culmorum DNA using 108 grain samples with different trichothecene levels. A significant positive correlation was found between fungal DNA quantity and the total trichothecene content. The obtained results showed that the sensitivity of the FcMito assay was much higher than the nuclear-based qPCR assay for F. culmorum. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Domain II of Pseudomonas Exotoxin Is Critical for Efficacy of Bolus Doses in a Xenograft Model of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050210 -
Abstract
Moxetumomab pasudotox is a fusion protein of a CD22-targeting antibody and Pseudomonas exotoxin. Minutes of exposure to Moxetumomab achieves similar cell killing than hours of exposure to a novel deimmunized variant against some acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Because blood levels fall quickly, Moxetumomab
[...] Read more.
Moxetumomab pasudotox is a fusion protein of a CD22-targeting antibody and Pseudomonas exotoxin. Minutes of exposure to Moxetumomab achieves similar cell killing than hours of exposure to a novel deimmunized variant against some acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Because blood levels fall quickly, Moxetumomab is more than 1000-fold more active than the deimmunized variant in vivo. We aimed to identify which part of Moxetumomab increases in vivo efficacy and generated five immunotoxins, tested time-dependent activity, and determined the efficacy in a KOPN-8 xenograft model. Full domain II shortened the time cells had to be exposed to die to only a few minutes for some ALL; deimmunized domain III consistently extended the time. Against KOPN-8, full domain II accelerated time to arrest protein synthesis by three-fold and tripled PARP-cleavage. In vivo efficacy was increased by more than 10-fold by domain II and increasing size, and therefore half-life enhanced efficacy two- to four-fold. In summary, in vivo efficacy is determined by the time cells have to be exposed to immunotoxin to die and serum half-life. Thus, domain II is most critical for activity against some ALL treated with bolus doses; however, immunotoxins lacking all but the furin-cleavage site of domain II may be advantageous when treating continuously. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Acid Sphingomyelinase Promotes Cellular Internalization of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050209 -
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is a binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin composed of the enzymatic component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ib binds to a cell surface receptor, forms Ib oligomer in lipid rafts, and associates with Ia. The Ia-Ib complex then internalizes by endocytosis.
[...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is a binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin composed of the enzymatic component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ib binds to a cell surface receptor, forms Ib oligomer in lipid rafts, and associates with Ia. The Ia-Ib complex then internalizes by endocytosis. Here, we showed that acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) facilitates the cellular uptake of iota-toxin. Inhibitions of ASMase and lysosomal exocytosis by respective blockers depressed cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. The cytotoxicity of the toxin increased in the presence of Ca2+ in extracellular fluids. Ib entered target cells in the presence but not the absence of Ca2+. Ib induced the extracellular release of ASMase in the presence of Ca2+. ASMase siRNA prevented the cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. Furthermore, treatment of the cells with Ib resulted in the production of ceramide in cytoplasmic vesicles. These observations showed that ASMase promotes the internalization of iota-toxin into target cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Expanding Therapeutic Utility of Botulinum Neurotoxins
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050208 -
Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a major therapeutic agent that is licensed in neurological indications, such as dystonia and spasticity. The BoNT family, which is produced in nature by clostridial bacteria, comprises several pharmacologically distinct proteins with distinct properties. In this review, we present
[...] Read more.
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a major therapeutic agent that is licensed in neurological indications, such as dystonia and spasticity. The BoNT family, which is produced in nature by clostridial bacteria, comprises several pharmacologically distinct proteins with distinct properties. In this review, we present an overview of the current therapeutic landscape and explore the diversity of BoNT proteins as future therapeutics. In recent years, novel indications have emerged in the fields of pain, migraine, overactive bladder, osteoarthritis, and wound healing. The study of biological effects distal to the injection site could provide future opportunities for disease-tailored BoNT therapies. However, there are some challenges in the pharmaceutical development of BoNTs, such as liquid and slow-release BoNT formulations; and, transdermal, transurothelial, and transepithelial delivery. Innovative approaches in the areas of formulation and delivery, together with highly sensitive analytical tools, will be key for the success of next generation BoNT clinical products. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Analysis of Pseudoscorpion Venom Reveals a Unique Cocktail Dominated by Enzymes and Protease Inhibitors
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050207 -
Abstract
Transcriptomic and genomic analyses have illuminated the diversity of venoms in three of the four venomous arachnid orders (scorpions, spiders, and ticks). To date, no venom gland transcriptome analysis has been available for pseudoscorpions, the fourth venomous arachnid lineage. To redress this gap,
[...] Read more.
Transcriptomic and genomic analyses have illuminated the diversity of venoms in three of the four venomous arachnid orders (scorpions, spiders, and ticks). To date, no venom gland transcriptome analysis has been available for pseudoscorpions, the fourth venomous arachnid lineage. To redress this gap, we sequenced an mRNA library generated from the venom glands of the species Synsphyronus apimelus (Garypidae). High-throughput sequencing by the Illumina protocol, followed by de novo assembly, resulted in a total of 238,331 transcripts. From those, we annotated 131 transcripts, which code for putative peptides/proteins with similar sequences to previously reported venom components available from different arachnid species in protein databases. Transcripts putatively coding for enzymes showed the richest diversity, followed by other venom components such as peptidase inhibitors, cysteine-rich peptides, and thyroglobulin 1-like peptides. Only 11 transcripts were found that code for putatively low molecular mass spider toxins. This study constitutes the first report of the diversity of components within pseudoscorpion venom. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Arginine, Ornithine, and Zeolite Supplementation on Uremic Toxins in Cats
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050206 -
Abstract
To test if arginine and ornithine, both components of the Krebs-Henseleit cycle, or zeolite, a potential ammonium absorber, can modulate the excretion of harmful bacterial metabolites, intestinal microbial protein fermentation was stimulated by feeding a high-protein (60.3%) diet as a single daily meal
[...] Read more.
To test if arginine and ornithine, both components of the Krebs-Henseleit cycle, or zeolite, a potential ammonium absorber, can modulate the excretion of harmful bacterial metabolites, intestinal microbial protein fermentation was stimulated by feeding a high-protein (60.3%) diet as a single daily meal to 10 adult cats. The diet was supplemented without or with arginine (+50, 75, 100% compared to arginine in the basal diet), ornithine (+100, 150, 200% compared to arginine in the basal diet), or zeolite (0.125, 0.25, 0.375 g/kg body weight/day). The cats received each diet for 11 days. Urine, feces, and blood were collected during the last 4 days. Arginine and ornithine enhanced the postprandial increase of blood urea, but renal urea excretion was not increased. Zeolite decreased renal ammonium excretion and fecal biogenic amines. The data indicate an increased detoxification rate of ammonia by arginine and ornithine supplementation. However, as urea was not increasingly excreted, detrimental effects on renal function cannot be excluded. Zeolite had beneficial effects on the intestinal nitrogen metabolism, which should be further evaluated in diseased cats. Clinical studies should investigate whether dietary arginine and ornithine might improve hepatic ammonia detoxification or could be detrimental for renal function. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Is 3-Carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropionate (CMPF) a Clinically Relevant Uremic Toxin in Haemodialysis Patients?
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050205 -
Abstract
3-Carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropionate (CMPF) is a metabolite of furan fatty acid and a marker of fish oil intake. CMPF is described as a protein-bound uremic toxin and interacts with free oxygen radicals, which can induce cell damages. However, the clinical consequences of CMPF accumulation in
[...] Read more.
3-Carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropionate (CMPF) is a metabolite of furan fatty acid and a marker of fish oil intake. CMPF is described as a protein-bound uremic toxin and interacts with free oxygen radicals, which can induce cell damages. However, the clinical consequences of CMPF accumulation in haemodialysis patients remain poorly documented. The aims of this study are to investigate potential association between CMPF levels and (i) biochemical and nutritional parameters; (ii) cardiovascular events and (iii) mortality. Two hundred and fifty-two patients undergoing maintenance haemodialysis were included. Routine clinical biochemistry tests and assay for CMPF by HPLC technique were performed at the inclusion. Body composition parameters were measured using a bioimpedance spectroscopy method. The enrolled patients were prospectively monitored for cardiovascular events and mortality. CMPF level was positively correlated with nutritional parameters and lean mass and is significantly higher in patients without protein-energy wasting. However, the multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that CMPF level was not independently associated with albumin, prealbumin, creatinemia and body mass index. Elevated serum CMPF was not associated with mortality and cardiovascular morbidity. Our results indicate that CMPF is not a relevant uremic toxin in haemodialysis and in contrast could be a marker of healthy diet and omega 3 intakes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Distal Colon Motor Dysfunction in Mice with Chronic Kidney Disease: Putative Role of Uremic Toxins
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050204 -
Abstract
Although gastrointestinal complications are a common feature of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the impact of uremia on bowel motility remains poorly understood. The present study was, therefore, designed to investigate the impact of uremia on gut motility. Kidney failure was induced
[...] Read more.
Although gastrointestinal complications are a common feature of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the impact of uremia on bowel motility remains poorly understood. The present study was, therefore, designed to investigate the impact of uremia on gut motility. Kidney failure was induced in mice by chemical nephrectomy using an adenine diet (0.25% w/w). Gastrointestinal transit time and colon motility were explored in vivo and ex vivo. Colons from control mice were incubated with uremic plasma or uremic toxins (urea, indoxyl-sulfate or p-cresyl-sulfate) at concentrations encountered in patients with end-stage renal disease. Mice fed an adenine diet for 3 weeks exhibited a 3-fold increase in plasma urea (p < 0.001) evidencing kidney failure. The median gastrointestinal transit time was doubled (1.8-fold, p < 0.001) while a reduction in colonic propulsive motility was observed in CKD mice (3-fold, p < 0.001). Colon from CKD mice exhibited an abnormal pattern of contraction associated with a blunted maximal force of contraction. Control colons incubated with plasma from hemodialysis patients exhibited a blunted level of maximal contraction (p < 0.01). Incubation with urea did not elicit any difference but incubation with indoxyl-sulfate or p-cresyl-sulfate decreased the maximal force of contraction (−66% and −55%, respectively. p < 0.01). Taken together, these data suggest that uremia impairs colon motility probably through the retention of uremic toxins. Colon dysmotility might contribute to the gastrointestinal symptoms often reported in patients with CKD. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Botulinum Toxin Type A Injection for Cervical Dystonia in Adults with Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050203 -
Abstract
We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of injecting botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) into the neck muscles to treat cervical dystonia (CD) in patients with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (CP). This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with cross-over design. We prospectively enrolled
[...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of injecting botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) into the neck muscles to treat cervical dystonia (CD) in patients with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (CP). This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with cross-over design. We prospectively enrolled adults with dyskinetic CP who were over 20 years old and had been clinically diagnosed with CD for more than one year. The primary outcome measure was the change in Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) at four weeks from the baseline TWSTRS. Seventeen patients were initially enrolled, but one patient was excluded after the final evaluation because of a violation of the study protocol. At four weeks, the BoNT-A injections showed significant improvement in TWSTRS total scores compared to the saline injections (p = 0.0286 for ANCOVA). At 12 weeks, the BoNT-A injections resulted in greater improvements in TWSTRS total scores than the saline injections without statistical significance (p = 0.0783 for ANCOVA). Dysphagia occurred in three out of 16 patients: two after BoNT-A and one after saline. The dysphagia was transient and improved naturally within two weeks without any special treatment. BoNT-A injection for CD in adults with dyskinetic CP is relatively safe and improves pain and disability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Role of Uremic Toxins for Kidney, Cardiovascular, and Bone Dysfunction
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050202 -
Abstract
With decreasing kidney function, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mineral bone disorders frequently emerge in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). For these patients, in addition to the traditional risk factors, non-traditional CKD-specific risk factors are also associated with such diseases and conditions. One
[...] Read more.
With decreasing kidney function, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mineral bone disorders frequently emerge in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). For these patients, in addition to the traditional risk factors, non-traditional CKD-specific risk factors are also associated with such diseases and conditions. One of these non-traditional risk factors is the accumulation of uremic toxins (UTs). In addition, the accumulation of UTs further deteriorates kidney function. Recently, a huge number of UTs have been identified. Although many experimental and clinical studies have reported associations between UTs and the progression of CKD, CVD, and bone disease, these relationships are very complex and have not been fully elucidated. Among the UTs, indoxyl sulfate, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and p-cresylsulfate have been of particular focus, up until now. In this review, we summarize the pathophysiological influences of these UTs on the kidney, cardiovascular system, and bone, and discuss the clinical data regarding the harmful effects of these UTs on diseases and conditions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Molecular Mechanisms of Apoptosis in HepaRG Cell Line Induced by Polyphyllin VI via the Fas Death Pathway and Mitochondrial-Dependent Pathway
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050201 -
Abstract
Polyphyllin VI, which is an active saponin, is mainly isolated from traditional medicinal plant Paris polyphylla, which causes liver damage in rats. In the present study, we aimed to explore the potential cytotoxicity of polyphyllin VI on the growth of HepaRG cells
[...] Read more.
Polyphyllin VI, which is an active saponin, is mainly isolated from traditional medicinal plant Paris polyphylla, which causes liver damage in rats. In the present study, we aimed to explore the potential cytotoxicity of polyphyllin VI on the growth of HepaRG cells and to determine the molecular mechanism. The results revealed that polyphyllin VI changed cell morphology and induced apoptosis in HepaRG cells. Flow cytometric assay displayed that polyphyllin VI promoted the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), depolarized the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and induced S phase cell cycle arrest by decreasing the expression of cyclin A2 and CDK2, while significantly increasing the expression of p21 protein. Polyphyllin VI induced the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol and activated Fas, caspase-3, -8, -9, and PARP proteins. Pretreatment with NAC and Z-VAD-FMK (ROS scavenger and caspase inhibitor, respectively) on HepaRG cells increased the percentage of viable cells, which indicated that polyphyllin VI induced cell apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway by the generation of ROS and Fas death-dependent pathway. All of the effects are in dose- and time-dependent manners. Taken together, these findings emphasize the necessity of risk assessment to polyphyllin VI and offer an insight into polyphyllin VI-induced apoptosis of HepaRG cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
High Production of LukMF’ in Staphylococcus aureus Field Strains Is Associated with Clinical Bovine Mastitis
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050200 -
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of bovine mastitis, produces a wide range of immune-evasion molecules. The bi-component leukocidin LukMF’ is a potent killer of bovine neutrophils in vitro. Since the role of LukMF’ in development of bovine mastitis has not been studied
[...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of bovine mastitis, produces a wide range of immune-evasion molecules. The bi-component leukocidin LukMF’ is a potent killer of bovine neutrophils in vitro. Since the role of LukMF’ in development of bovine mastitis has not been studied in natural infections, we aimed to clarify whether presence of the lukM-lukF’ genes and production levels of LukMF’ are associated with clinical severity of the disease. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from mastitis milk samples (38 clinical and 17 subclinical cases) from 33 different farms. The lukM-lukF’ genes were present in 96% of the isolates. Remarkably, 22% of the lukM-lukF’-positive S. aureus isolates displayed a 10-fold higher in vitro LukMF’ production than the average of the lower-producing ones. These high producing isolates were cultured significantly more frequently from clinical than subclinical mastitis cases. Also, the detection of LukM protein in milk samples was significantly associated with clinical mastitis and high production in vitro. The high producing LukMF’ strains all belonged to the same genetic lineage, spa-type t543. Analysis of their global toxin gene regulators revealed a point mutation in the Repressor of toxins (rot) gene which results in a non-functional start codon, preventing translation of rot. This mutation was only identified in high LukMF’ producing isolates and not in low LukMF’ producing isolates. Since rot suppresses the expression of various toxins including leukocidins, this mutation is a possible explanation for increased LukMF’ production. Identification of high LukMF’ producing strains is of clinical relevance and can potentially be used as a prognostic marker for severity of mastitis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Boulardii Reduces the Deoxynivalenol-Induced Alteration of the Intestinal Transcriptome
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050199 -
Abstract
Type B trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most frequently occurring food contaminants. By inducing trans-activation of a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing the stability of their mRNA, trichothecene can impair intestinal health. Several yeast products, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae,
[...] Read more.
Type B trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most frequently occurring food contaminants. By inducing trans-activation of a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing the stability of their mRNA, trichothecene can impair intestinal health. Several yeast products, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have the potential for improving the enteric health of piglets, but little is known about the mechanisms by which the administration of yeast counteracts the DON-induced intestinal alterations. Using a pig jejunum explant model, a whole-transcriptome analysis was performed to decipher the early response of the small intestine to the deleterious effects of DON after administration of S. cerevisiae boulardii strain CNCM I-1079. Compared to the control condition, no differentially expressed gene (DE) was observed after treatment by yeast only. By contrast, 3619 probes—corresponding to 2771 genes—were differentially expressed following exposure to DON, and 32 signaling pathways were identified from the IPA software functional analysis of the set of DE genes. When the intestinal explants were treated with S. cerevisiae boulardii prior to DON exposure, the number of DE genes decreased by half (1718 probes corresponding to 1384 genes). Prototypical inflammation signaling pathways triggered by DON, including NF-κB and p38 MAPK, were reversed, although the yeast demonstrated limited efficacy toward some other pathways. S. cerevisiae boulardii also restored the lipid metabolism signaling pathway, and reversed the down-regulation of the antioxidant action of vitamin C signaling pathway. The latter effect could reduce the burden of DON-induced oxidative stress. Altogether, the results show that S. cerevisiae boulardii reduces the DON-induced alteration of intestinal transcriptome, and point to new mechanisms for the healing of tissue injury by yeast. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Label-Free G-Quadruplex Aptamer Fluorescence Assay for Ochratoxin A Using a Thioflavin T Probe
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050198 -
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most common mycotoxins contaminating feed and foodstuffs. Therefore, a great deal of concern is associated with AFB1 toxicity. In this work, a fast and sensitive fluorescence aptamer biosensor has been proposed for the OTA assay. In
[...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most common mycotoxins contaminating feed and foodstuffs. Therefore, a great deal of concern is associated with AFB1 toxicity. In this work, a fast and sensitive fluorescence aptamer biosensor has been proposed for the OTA assay. In the absence of OTA, the OTA aptamer can form a G-quadruplex structure with thioflavin T (ThT) dye, which results in increased fluorescence. After joining OTA, OTA aptamer combines with OTA and the G-quadruplex can be formed. Only faint fluorescence was finally observed when ThT weakly reacts with the quadruplex. Through this test method, the entire reaction and analysis process of OTA can be completed in 10 min. Under optimal experimental conditions (600 nM OTA-APT, 7 μM ThT, and 3 min incubation time), this proposed assay has a good limit of detection (LOD) of 0.4 ng/mL and shows a good linear relationship within the range of 1.2–200 ng/mL under the best experimental conditions. This method has a high specificity for OTA relative to Ochratoxin B (23%) and Aflatoxin B1 (13%). In addition, the quantitative determination of this method in real samples has been validated using a sample of red wine supplemented with a range of OTA concentrations (1.2 ng/mL, 12 ng/mL, and 40 ng/mL) with recoveries of 96.5% to 107%. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Designed Strategies for Fluorescence-Based Biosensors for the Detection of Mycotoxins
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050197 -
Abstract
Small molecule toxins such as mycotoxins with low molecular weight are the most widely studied biological toxins. These biological toxins are responsible for food poisoning and have the potential to be used as biological warfare agents at the toxic dose. Due to the
[...] Read more.
Small molecule toxins such as mycotoxins with low molecular weight are the most widely studied biological toxins. These biological toxins are responsible for food poisoning and have the potential to be used as biological warfare agents at the toxic dose. Due to the poisonous nature of mycotoxins, effective analysis techniques for quantifying their toxicity are indispensable. In this context, biosensors have been emerged as a powerful tool to monitors toxins at extremely low level. Recently, biosensors based on fluorescence detection have attained special interest with the incorporation of nanomaterials. This review paper will focus on the development of fluorescence-based biosensors for mycotoxin detection, with particular emphasis on their design as well as properties such as sensitivity and specificity. A number of these fluorescent biosensors have shown promising results in food samples for the detection of mycotoxins, suggesting their future potential for food applications. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Immunosensor for Detection of Aflatoxin B1 Based on Indirect Competitive ELISA
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050196 -
Abstract
Mycotoxins are the secondary toxic metabolites produced naturally by fungi. Analysis of mycotoxins is essential to minimize the consumption of contaminated food and feed. In this present work, an ultrasensitive electrochemical immunosensor for the detection of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was
[...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are the secondary toxic metabolites produced naturally by fungi. Analysis of mycotoxins is essential to minimize the consumption of contaminated food and feed. In this present work, an ultrasensitive electrochemical immunosensor for the detection of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was successfully developed based on an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Various parameters of ELISA, including antigen–antibody concentration, blocking agents, incubation time, temperature and pH of reagents, were first optimized in a 96-well microtiter plate to study the antigen–antibody interaction and optimize the optimum parameters of the assay. The optimized assay was transferred onto the multi-walled carbon nanotubes/chitosan/screen-printed carbon electrode (MWCNTs/CS/SPCE) by covalent attachment with the aid of 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimetylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide (EDC) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS). Competition occurred between aflatoxin B1-bovine serum albumin (AFB1–BSA) and free AFB1 (in peanut sample and standard) for the binding site of a fixed amount of anti-AFB1 antibody. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) analysis was used for the detection based on the reduction peak of TMB(ox). The developed immunosensor showed a linear range of 0.0001 to 10 ng/mL with detection limit of 0.3 pg/mL. AFB1 analysis in spiked peanut samples resulted in recoveries between 80% and 127%. The precision of the developed immunosensor was evaluated by RSD values (n = 5) as 4.78% and 2.71% for reproducibility and repeatability, respectively. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Purification and Characterization of Recombinant Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype FA, Also Known as Serotype H
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050195 -
Abstract
We have purified and characterized recombinant botulinum neurotoxin serotype FA (BoNT/FA). This protein has also been named as a new serotype (serotype H), but the classification has been controversial. A lack of well-characterized, highly pure material has been a roadblock to study. Here
[...] Read more.
We have purified and characterized recombinant botulinum neurotoxin serotype FA (BoNT/FA). This protein has also been named as a new serotype (serotype H), but the classification has been controversial. A lack of well-characterized, highly pure material has been a roadblock to study. Here we report purification and characterization of enzymatically active, and of inactive nontoxic, recombinant forms of BoNT/FA as tractable alternatives to purifying this neurotoxin from native Clostridium botulinum. BoNT/FA cleaves the same intracellular target proteins as BoNT/F1 and other F serotype BoNTs; the intracellular targets are vesicle associated membrane proteins (VAMP) 1, 2 and 3. BoNT/FA cleaves the same site in VAMP-2 as BoNT/F5, which is different from the cleavage site of other F serotype BoNTs. BoNT/FA has slower enzyme kinetics than BoNT/F1 in a cell-free protease assay and is less potent at inhibiting ex vivo nerve-stimulated skeletal muscle contraction. In contrast, BoNT/FA is more potent at inhibiting neurotransmitter release from cultured neurons. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Investigation to Identify Anticancer Targets of Nemopilema nomurai Jellyfish Venom in Human Hepatocarcinoma HepG2 Cells
Toxins 2018, 10(5), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10050194 -
Abstract
Nemopilema nomurai is a giant jellyfish that blooms in East Asian seas. Recently, N. nomurai venom (NnV) was characterized from a toxicological and pharmacological point of view. A mild dose of NnV inhibits the growth of various kinds of cancer cells, mainly hepatic
[...] Read more.
Nemopilema nomurai is a giant jellyfish that blooms in East Asian seas. Recently, N. nomurai venom (NnV) was characterized from a toxicological and pharmacological point of view. A mild dose of NnV inhibits the growth of various kinds of cancer cells, mainly hepatic cancer cells. The present study aims to identify the potential therapeutic targets and mechanism of NnV in the growth inhibition of cancer cells. Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells were treated with NnV, and its proteome was analyzed using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF/MS). The quantity of twenty four proteins in NnV-treated HepG2 cells varied compared to non-treated control cells. Among them, the amounts of fourteen proteins decreased and ten proteins showed elevated levels. We also found that the amounts of several cancer biomarkers and oncoproteins, which usually increase in various types of cancer cells, decreased after NnV treatment. The representative proteins included proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), elongation factor 1γ (EF1γ), nucleolar and spindle-associated protein (NuSAP), and activator of 90 kDa heat shock protein ATPase homolog 1 (AHSA1). Western blotting also confirmed altered levels of PCNA, GRP78, and G6PD in NnV-treated HepG2 cells. In summary, the proteomic approach explains the mode of action of NnV as an anticancer agent. Further characterization of NnV may help to unveil novel therapeutic agents in cancer treatment. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract