Abstract: The peptide antibiotic and ionophore gramicidin has previously been shown to trigger apoptosis of nucleated cells. In analogy to apoptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes or eryptosis involves cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Triggers of eryptosis include oxidative stress, increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i), and ceramide. The present study explored, whether gramicidin triggers eryptosis. To this end phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface was estimated from annexin V binding, cell volume from forward scatter, red blood cell distribution width (RDW) from electronic particle counting, reactive oxidant species (ROS) from 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3- and Fluo4 fluorescence, and ceramide abundance from binding of specific antibodies. As a result, a 24 h exposure of human erythrocytes to gramicidin significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells (≥1 µg/mL), forward scatter (≥0.5 µg/mL) and hemolysis. Gramicidin enhanced ROS activity, [Ca2+]i and ceramide abundance at the erythrocyte surface. The stimulation of annexin-V-binding by gramicidin was significantly blunted but not abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+. In conclusion, gramicidin stimulates phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least partially due to induction of oxidative stress, increase of [Ca2+]i and up-regulation of ceramide abundance. Despite increase of [Ca2+]i, gramicidin increases cell volume and slightly reduces RWD.
Abstract: Harmful cyanobacterial blooms have adversely impacted human and animal health for thousands of years. Recently, the health impacts of harmful cyanobacteria blooms are becoming more frequently detected and reported. However, reports of human and animal illnesses or deaths associated with harmful cyanobacteria blooms tend to be investigated and reported separately. Consequently, professionals working in human or in animal health do not always communicate findings related to these events with one another. Using the One Health concept of integration and collaboration among health disciplines, we systematically review the existing literature to discover where harmful cyanobacteria-associated animal illnesses and deaths have served as sentinel events to warn of potential human health risks. We find that illnesses or deaths among livestock, dogs and fish are all potentially useful as sentinel events for the presence of harmful cyanobacteria that may impact human health. We also describe ways to enhance the value of reports of cyanobacteria-associated illnesses and deaths in animals to protect human health. Efficient monitoring of environmental and animal health in a One Health collaborative framework can provide vital warnings of cyanobacteria-associated human health risks.
Abstract: Clavicipitaceous fungi producing ergot alkaloids were recently discovered to be epibiotically associated with peltate glandular trichomes of Ipomoea asarifolia and Turbina corymbosa, dicotyledonous plants of the family Convolvulaceae. Mediators of the close association between fungi and trichomes may be sesquiterpenes, main components in the volatile oil of different convolvulaceous plants. Molecular biological studies and microscopic investigations led to the observation that the trichomes do not only secrete sesquiterpenes and palmitic acid but also seem to absorb ergot alkaloids from the epibiotic fungal species of the genus Periglandula. Thus, the trichomes are likely to have a dual and key function in a metabolic dialogue between fungus and host plant.
Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the positive effects of dietary supplementation with l-arginine (Arg) on piglets fed a deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated diet. A total of eighteen, 28-day-old healthy weanling pigs were randomly assigned into one of three groups: uncontaminated basal diet (control group), 6 mg/kg DON-contaminated diet (DON group) and 6 mg/kg DON + 1% l-arginine (DON + ARG group). After 21 days of Arg supplementation, piglets in the DON and DON + ARG groups were challenged by feeding 6 mg/kg DON-contaminated diet for seven days. The results showed that DON resulted in damage to piglets. However, clinical parameters, including jejunal morphology, amino acid concentrations in the serum, jejunum and ileum, were improved by Arg (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the mRNA levels for sodium-glucose transporter-1 (SGLT-1), glucose transporter type-2 (GLUT-2) and y+l-type amino acid transporter-1 (y+LAT-1) were downregulated in the DON group, but the values were increased in the DON + ARG group (p < 0.05). Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with Arg exerts a protective role in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets.
Abstract: The separation of PSP toxins using liquid chromatography with a post-column oxidation fluorescence detection method was performed with different matrices. The separation of PSP toxins depends on several factors, and it is crucial to take into account the presence of interfering matrix peaks to produce a good separation. The matrix peaks are not always the same, which is a significant issue when it comes to producing good, reliable results regarding resolution and toxicity information. Different real shellfish matrices (mussel, scallop, clam and oyster) were studied, and it was seen that the interference is not the same for each individual matrix. It also depends on the species, sampling location and the date of collection. It was proposed that separation should be accomplished taking into account the type of matrix, as well as the concentration of heptane sulfonate in both solvents, since the mobile phase varies regarding the matrix. Scallop and oyster matrices needed a decrease in the concentration of heptane sulfonate to separate GTX4 from matrix peaks, as well as dcGTX3 for oysters, with a concentration of 6.5 mM for solvent A and 6.25 mM for solvent B. For mussel and clam matrices, interfering peaks are not as large as they are in the other group, and the heptane sulfonate concentration was 8.25 mM for both solvents. Also, for scallops and oysters, matrix interferences depend not only on the sampling site but also on the date of collection as well as the species; for mussels and clams, differences are noted only when the sampling site varies.
Abstract: The pH-triggered membrane insertion of the diphtheria toxin translocation domain (T domain) results in transferring the catalytic domain into the cytosol, which is relevant to potential biomedical applications as a cargo-delivery system. Protonation of residues is suggested to play a key role in the process, and residues E349, D352 and E362 are of particular interest because of their location within the membrane insertion unit TH8–TH9. We have used various spectroscopic, computational and functional assays to characterize the properties of the T domain carrying the double mutation E349Q/D352N or the single mutation E362Q. Vesicle leakage measurements indicate that both mutants interact with the membrane under less acidic conditions than the wild-type. Thermal unfolding and fluorescence measurements, complemented with molecular dynamics simulations, suggest that the mutant E362Q is more susceptible to acid destabilization because of disruption of native intramolecular contacts. Fluorescence experiments show that removal of the charge in E362Q, and not in E349Q/D352N, is important for insertion of TH8–TH9. Both mutants adopt a final functional state upon further acidification. We conclude that these acidic residues are involved in the pH-dependent action of the T domain, and their replacements can be used for fine tuning the pH range of membrane interactions.