Special Issue "Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins"


A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Vítor Vasconcelos

Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Porto University, Rua do Campo Alegre 4069-007 Porto and Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050.123 Porto, Portugal
Website: http://www.ciimar.up.pt/member.php?id=103
Phone: +351 223401814
Fax: +351 223380609
Interests: blue-biotechnology; emerging marine toxins; bioassay-guided approach; cyanobacteria bioactive compounds
Guest Editor
Dr. Agostinho Antunes

Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal and Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Porto University, Rua do Campo Alegre 4069-007 Porto
Fax: +351 22 3390 608
Interests: genomics, evolution and bioinformatics; ecotoxicogenomics; diversity of toxin and venom compounds; blue-biotechnology
Guest Editor
Dr. Alexandre Campos

Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
Website: http://www.ciimar.up.pt/member.php?id=109
Fax: +351 223390608
Interests: proteomics; toxicology; emerging water pollutants; cyanobacteria bioactive metabolites and enzymes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cyanobacteria toxins have a diversity of modes of action that are only partially known. Studies on protein differential expression may help us to map new targets for some of these toxins and the pathways of their detoxication metabolism. Advances in genomic approaches have also enhanced the way we understand toxin production and regulation, including the phylogeny of cyanotoxins.

This Special Issue will cover all aspects related to genomics and proteomics approaches on the study of cyanotoxins.

Prof. Dr. Vítor Vasconcelos
Dr. Agostinho Antunes
Dr. Alexandre Campos
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • comparative proteomics and genomics
  • mechanisms of action of cyanotoxins and toxin–protein interactions
  • method development and identification of novel cyanotoxins
  • molecular evolution of cyanotoxins
  • de novo sequencing and posttranslational modifications of cyanotoxins
  • Cyanotoxins biosynthetic pathways
  • metagenomics of cyanotoxins
  • phylogenetics of cyanotoxins
  • molecular evolution of polyketide synthase [PKS] and nonribosomal peptide synthase [NRPS]
  • molecular diversity of cyanotoxins

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Displaying article 1-4
p. 1951-1978
by  and
Toxins 2014, 6(7), 1951-1978; doi:10.3390/toxins6071951
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 June 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins)
p. 1929-1950
by  and
Toxins 2014, 6(6), 1929-1950; doi:10.3390/toxins6061929
Received: 23 April 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins)
p. 1896-1915
by , , ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(6), 1896-1915; doi:10.3390/toxins6061896
Received: 1 May 2014 / Revised: 31 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins)
p. 1837-1854
by , , , , , , ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(6), 1837-1854; doi:10.3390/toxins6061837
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 30 May 2014 / Accepted: 3 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Oligopeptides as Biomarkers of Cyanobacterial Subpopulations. Unraveling Their Biological Role
Ramsy Agha and Antonio Quesada
Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain; E-Mail: antonio.quesada@uam.es (A.Q.)
: Cyanobacterial oligopeptides comprise a wide range of bioactive and/or toxic compounds. While current research is strongly focused on describing new oligopeptide variants and their bioactive properties, the biological role of these compounds remains elusive. The distribution of oligopeptides production abilities among conspecific strains is remarkably heterogeneous. This observation has prompted in the last years the use oligopeptide compositions as biomarkers of coexisting intraspecific subpopulations or chemotypes. Studies addressing the diversity, distribution and dynamics of chemotypes in natural systems have provided important insights into the structure and ecology of cyanobacterial populations and the adaptive value of oligopeptides. This review presents an overview of the main findings obtained from this emerging approach and critically discusses our current understanding on the role of oligopeptides in the ecology of cyanobacteria.

Type of Paper: Article
Impact of Nitrogen Sources on Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and Non-diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9
Karina Stucken 1, Uwe John 1, Allan Cembella 1, Katia Soto-Liebe 2,3 and Mónica Vásquez 2,3,*
1 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany; E-Mails: kstucken@ifam.uni-kiel.de (K.S.); Uwe.John@awi.de (U.J.)
2 Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile
3 Millenium Nucleus EMBA, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile
Abstract: Different environmental nitrogen sources play selective roles in the development of cyanobacterial blooms and noxious effects are often exacerbated when toxic cyanobacteria are dominant. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 (heterocystous, nitrogen fixing) and Raphidiopsis brookii D9 (non-N2 fixing) produce the nitrogenous toxins cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), respectively. These toxin groups are biosynthesized constitutively by two independent putative gene clusters, whose flanking genes are target for nitrogen (N) regulation. So far it is not known how or if toxin biosynthetic genes are regulated, particularly by N-source dependency. Here we show that binding boxes for NtcA, the master regulator of N metabolism are located within both gene clusters, as potential regulator of toxin biosynthesis. Quantification of intra- and extracellular toxin content in cultures at early stages of growth under nitrate, ammonium, urea and N-deprivation free medium showed that N-sources influence neither CYN nor PSTs production. However, CYN and PSTs profiles were altered under N deprivation resulting in a decrease in the predicted precursor toxins (doCYN and STX, respectively). Reduced STX amounts were also observed under growth in ammonium. Quantification of toxin biosynthesis and transport gene transcripts revealed a constitutive transcription under all N-sources. Our data support the hypothesis that PSTs and CYN are constitutive metabolites whose biosynthesis is correlated to cyanobacterial growth rather than directly to specific environmental conditions. Overall, the constant toxin biosynthesis and gene expression supports the usage of qPCR probes in water quality monitoring of toxic cyanobacteria.

Title: Proteomic Analysis of Anatoxin-a Acute Toxicity in Zebrafish Reveals Major Gender Specific Responses and Additional Mechanisms of Cell Stress
Authors: Mariana Carneiro 1, Daniel Gutiérrez-Praena 2, Hugo Osório 3,4, Vitor Vasconcelos 1,5, António Paulo Carvalho 1,5,* and Alexandre Campos 1
1 Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, CIIMAR/CIMAR, Porto, Portugal; E-Mail address: apcarval@fc.up.pt (A.P.C.)
2 Area of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Seville, Spain
3 Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto, IPATIMUP, Porto, Portugal
4 Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
5 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
: Anatoxin-a is a potent neurotoxin produced by several genus of cyanobacteria known to form blooms in fresh and brackish waters, with a widespread geographic distribution. A number of deaths of wild and domestic animals due to anatoxin-a exposure has been reported. However, information on the mechanisms of toxicity and effects of this neurotoxin, particularly on aquatic animals, is still scarce. The present work aimed at evaluating proteome changes in brain and muscle of zebrafish (Danio rerio), caused by exposure to anatoxin-a. In this regard a test group of male and female zebrafish received an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of an anatoxin-a dose of 0.8 µg g-1 of fish body weight (bw), in phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS), while the control group received an i.p. injection of PBS only. After 5 minutes, fish were sacrificed and brain and muscle tissues were collected and processed with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE). Qualitative and statistical analyses of protein expression, using gel image tools, allowed the detection of differences between the proteome of control and exposed fish groups, as well as differences between the proteome of male and female fish (gender specific responses). The posterior MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, allowed to identify the up- and down regulated proteins. Alterations in proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, ATP synthesis, cell structure maintenance, cellular transport, protein folding and stress response, detoxification and protease inhibition, were reported, providing novel mechanistic insights relative to the action of anatoxin-a in fish.

Last update: 31 January 2014

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