Toxins2016, 8(8), 232; doi:10.3390/toxins8080232 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In addition to deoxynivalenol (DON), acetylated derivatives, i.e., 3-acetyl and 15-acetyldexynivalenol (or 3/15ADON), are present in cereals leading to exposure to these mycotoxins. Animal and human studies suggest that 3/15ADON are converted into DON after their ingestion through hydrolysis of the acetyl moiety, the site(s) of such deacetylation being still uncharacterized. We used in vitro and ex vivo approaches to study the deacetylation of 3/15ADON by enzymes and cells/tissues present on their way from the food matrix to the blood in humans. We found that luminal deacetylation by digestive enzymes and bacteria is limited. Using human cells, tissues and S9 fractions, we were able to demonstrate that small intestine and liver possess strong deacetylation capacity compared to colon and kidneys. Interestingly, in most cases, deacetylation was more efficient for 3ADON than 15ADON. Although we initially thought that carboxylesterases (CES) could be responsible for the deacetylation of 3/15ADON, the use of pure human CES1/2 and of CES inhibitor demonstrated that CES are not involved. Taken together, our original model system allowed us to identify the small intestine and the liver as the main site of deacetylation of ingested 3/15ADON in humans.
Toxins2016, 8(8), 231; doi:10.3390/toxins8080231 (registering DOI) - published 27 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FB) are the most frequently encountered mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species in livestock diets. The effect of subclinical doses of mycotoxins in chickens is largely unknown, and in particular the susceptibility of birds to pathogenic challenge when fed these fungal metabolites. Therefore, the present study reports the effects of DON and FB on chickens challenged with Eimeria spp, responsible for coccidiosis. Broilers were fed diets from hatch to day 20, containing no mycotoxins, 1.5 mg DON/kg, 20 mg FB/kg, or both toxins (12 pens/diet; 7 birds/pen). At day 14, six pens of birds per diet (half of the birds) were challenged with a 25×-recommended dose of coccidial vaccine, and all birds (challenged and unchallenged) were sampled 6 days later. As expected, performance of birds was strongly affected by the coccidial challenge. Ingestion of mycotoxins did not further affect the growth but repartitioned the rate of reduction (between the fraction due to the change in maintenance and feed efficiency), and reduced apparent nitrogen digestibility. Intestinal lesions and number of oocysts in the jejunal mucosa and feces of challenged birds were more frequent and intense in the birds fed mycotoxins than in birds fed control feed. The upregulation of cytokines (interleukin (IL) IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10) following coccidial infection was higher in the jejunum of birds fed mycotoxins. Further, the higher intestinal immune response was associated with a higher percentage of T lymphocytes CD4+CD25+, also called Tregs, observed in the cecal tonsils of challenged birds fed mycotoxins. Interestingly, the increase in FB biomarker of exposure (sphinganine/sphingosine ratio in serum and liver) suggested a higher absorption and bioavailability of FB in challenged birds. The interaction of DON and FB was very dependent on the endpoint assessed, with three endpoints reporting antagonism, nine additivity, and two synergism. In conclusion, subclinical doses of DON and FB showed little effects in unchallenged chickens, but seem to result in metabolic and immunologic disturbances that amplify the severity of coccidiosis.
Abstract: Recombinant immunotoxins (RITs) are fusions of an Fv-based targeting moiety and a toxin. Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) has been used to make several immunotoxins that have been evaluated in clinical trials. Immunogenicity of the bacterial toxin and off-target toxicity have limited the efficacy of these immunotoxins. To address these issues, we have previously made RITs in which the Fv is connected to domain III (PE24) by a furin cleavage site (FCS), thereby removing unneeded sequences of domain II. However, the PE24 containing RITs do not contain the naturally occurring disulfide bond around the furin cleavage sequence, because it was removed when domain II was deleted. This could potentially allow PE24 containing immunotoxins to be cleaved and inactivated before internalization by cell surface furin or other proteases in the blood stream or tumor microenvironment. Here, we describe five new RITs in which a disulfide bond is engineered to protect the FCS. The most active of these, SS1-Fab-DS3-PE24, shows a longer serum half-life than an RIT without the disulfide bond and has the same anti-tumor activity, despite being less cytotoxic in vitro. These results have significance for the production of de-immunized, low toxicity, PE24-based immunotoxins with a longer serum half-life.
Abstract: Kazal-type serine proteinase inhibitors are found in a large number of living organisms and play crucial roles in various biological and physiological processes. Although some Kazal-type serine protease inhibitors have been identified in leeches, none has been reported from Hirudinaria manillensis, which is a medically important leech. In this study, a novel Kazal-type trypsin inhibitor was isolated from leech H. manillensis, purified and named as bdellin-HM based on the sequence similarity with bdellin-KL and bdellin B-3. Structural analysis revealed that bdellin-HM was a 17,432.8 Da protein and comprised of 149 amino acid residues with six cysteines forming three intra-molecular disulfide bonds. Bdellin-HM showed similarity with the Kazal-type domain and may belong to the group of “non-classical” Kazal inhibitors according to its CysI-CysII disulfide bridge position. Bdellin-HM had no inhibitory effect on elastase, chymotrypsin, kallikrein, Factor (F) XIIa, FXIa, FXa, thrombin and plasmin, but it showed a potent ability to inhibit trypsin with an inhibition constant (Ki) of (8.12 ± 0.18) × 10−9 M. These results suggest that bdellin-HM from the leech of H. manillensis plays a potent and specific inhibitory role towards trypsin.
Abstract: Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets.
Abstract: Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology.