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Toxins, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Cone snails are predatory marine gastropods that use venom to catch preys and defend against [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Staphylococcus aureus Toxins and Their Molecular Activity in Infectious Diseases
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a microorganism resident in the skin and nasal membranes with a dreadful pathogenic potential to cause a variety of community and hospital-acquired infections. The frequency of these infections is increasing and their treatment is becoming more difficult. The ability of
[...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is a microorganism resident in the skin and nasal membranes with a dreadful pathogenic potential to cause a variety of community and hospital-acquired infections. The frequency of these infections is increasing and their treatment is becoming more difficult. The ability of S. aureus to form biofilms and the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains are the main reasons determining the challenge in dealing with these infections. S. aureus' infectious capacity and its success as a pathogen is related to the expression of virulence factors, among which the production of a wide variety of toxins is highlighted. For this reason, a better understanding of S. aureus toxins is needed to enable the development of new strategies to reduce their production and consequently improve therapeutic approaches. This review focuses on understanding the toxin-based pathogenesis of S. aureus and their role on infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessReview Classes, Databases, and Prediction Methods of Pharmaceutically and Commercially Important Cystine-Stabilized Peptides
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Cystine-stabilized peptides represent a large family of peptides characterized by high structural stability and bactericidal, fungicidal, or insecticidal properties. Found throughout a wide range of taxa, this broad and functionally important family can be subclassified into distinct groups dependent upon their number and
[...] Read more.
Cystine-stabilized peptides represent a large family of peptides characterized by high structural stability and bactericidal, fungicidal, or insecticidal properties. Found throughout a wide range of taxa, this broad and functionally important family can be subclassified into distinct groups dependent upon their number and type of cystine bonding patters, tertiary structures, and/or their species of origin. Furthermore, the annotation of proteins related to the cystine-stabilized family are under-represented in the literature due to their difficulty of isolation and identification. As a result, there are several recent attempts to collate them into data resources and build analytic tools for their dynamic prediction. Ultimately, the identification and delivery of new members of this family will lead to their growing inclusion into the repertoire of commercial viable alternatives to antibiotics and environmentally safe insecticides. This review of the literature and current state of cystine-stabilized peptide biology is aimed to better describe peptide subfamilies, identify databases and analytics resources associated with specific cystine-stabilized peptides, and highlight their current commercial success. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tb II-I, a Fraction Isolated from Tityus bahiensis Scorpion Venom, Alters Cytokines’: Level and Induces Seizures When Intrahippocampally Injected in Rats
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Scorpion venoms are composed of several substances with different pharmacological activities. Neurotoxins exert their effects by targeting ion channels resulting in toxic effects to mammals, insects and crustaceans. Tb II-I, a fraction isolated from Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom, was investigated for its ability
[...] Read more.
Scorpion venoms are composed of several substances with different pharmacological activities. Neurotoxins exert their effects by targeting ion channels resulting in toxic effects to mammals, insects and crustaceans. Tb II-I, a fraction isolated from Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom, was investigated for its ability to induce neurological and immune-inflammatory effects. Two putative β-sodium channel toxins were identified in this fraction, Tb2 II and Tb 4, the latter having been completely sequenced by mass spectrometry. Male Wistar rats, stereotaxically implanted with intrahippocampal cannulas and electrodes, were injected with Tb II-I (2 µg/2 µL) via the intrahippocampal route. The behavior, electrographic activity and cellular integrity of the animals were analyzed and the intracerebral level of cytokines determined. Tb II-I injection induced seizures and damage in the hippocampus. These alterations were correlated with the changes in the level of the cytokines tumoral necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Therefore, the binding of Tb II-I to its target in the central nervous system may induce inflammation resulting in neuropathological and behavioral alterations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scorpion Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Performance of De Novo Assembly Methods for Venom-Gland Transcriptomics
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Venom-gland transcriptomics is a key tool in the study of the evolution, ecology, function, and pharmacology of animal venoms. In particular, gene-expression variation and coding sequences gained through transcriptomics provide key information for explaining functional venom variation over both ecological and evolutionary timescales.
[...] Read more.
Venom-gland transcriptomics is a key tool in the study of the evolution, ecology, function, and pharmacology of animal venoms. In particular, gene-expression variation and coding sequences gained through transcriptomics provide key information for explaining functional venom variation over both ecological and evolutionary timescales. The accuracy and usefulness of inferences made through transcriptomics, however, is limited by the accuracy of the transcriptome assembly, which is a bioinformatic problem with several possible solutions. Several methods have been employed to assemble venom-gland transcriptomes, with the Trinity assembler being the most commonly applied among them. Although previous evidence of variation in performance among assembly software exists, particularly regarding recovery of difficult-to-assemble multigene families such as snake venom metalloproteinases, much work to date still employs a single assembly method. We evaluated the performance of several commonly used de novo assembly methods for the recovery of both nontoxin transcripts and complete, high-quality venom-gene transcripts across eleven snake and four scorpion transcriptomes. We varied k-mer sizes used by some assemblers to evaluate the impact of k-mer length on transcript recovery. We showed that the recovery of nontoxin transcripts and toxin transcripts is best accomplished through different assembly software, with SDT at smaller k-mer lengths and Trinity being best for nontoxin recovery and a combination of SeqMan NGen and a seed-and-extend approach implemented in Extender as the best means of recovering a complete set of toxin transcripts. In particular, Extender was the only means tested capable of assembling multiple isoforms of the diverse snake venom metalloproteinase family, while traditional approaches such as Trinity recovered at most one metalloproteinase transcript. Our work demonstrated that traditional metrics of assembly performance are not predictive of performance in the recovery of complete and high quality toxin genes. Instead, effective venom-gland transcriptomic studies should combine and quality-filter the results of several assemblers with varying algorithmic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessCommunication Detection of Clostridium tetani Neurotoxins Inhibited In Vivo by Botulinum Antitoxin B: Potential for Misleading Mouse Test Results in Food Controls
Received: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
The presence of botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridia (BPC) in food sources is a public health concern. In favorable environmental conditions, BPC can produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) outside or inside the vertebrate host, leading to intoxications or toxico-infectious forms of botulism, respectively. BPC in food
[...] Read more.
The presence of botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridia (BPC) in food sources is a public health concern. In favorable environmental conditions, BPC can produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) outside or inside the vertebrate host, leading to intoxications or toxico-infectious forms of botulism, respectively. BPC in food are almost invariably detected either by PCR protocols targeted at the known neurotoxin-encoding genes, or by the mouse test to assay for the presence of BoNTs in the supernatants of enrichment broths inoculated with the tested food sample. The sample is considered positive for BPC when the supernatant contains toxic substances that are lethal to mice, heat-labile and neutralized in vivo by appropriate polyclonal antibodies raised against purified BoNTs of different serotypes. Here, we report the detection in a food sample of a Clostridium tetani strain that produces tetanus neurotoxins (TeNTs) with the above-mentioned characteristics: lethal for mice, heat-labile and neutralized by botulinum antitoxin type B. Notably, neutralization occurred with two different commercially available type B antitoxins, but not with type A, C, D, E and F antitoxins. Although TeNT and BoNT fold very similarly, evidence that antitoxin B antiserum can neutralize the neurotoxic effect of TeNT in vivo has not been documented before. The presence of C. tetani strains in food can produce misleading results in BPC detection using the mouse test. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Bovine Mastitis in Eight Countries: Genotypes, Detection of Genes Encoding Different Toxins and Other Virulence Genes
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 17 June 2018
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Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide as one of the major agents of dairy cow intra-mammary infections. This microorganism can express a wide spectrum of pathogenic factors used to attach, colonize, invade and infect the host. The present study evaluated 120 isolates from eight
[...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide as one of the major agents of dairy cow intra-mammary infections. This microorganism can express a wide spectrum of pathogenic factors used to attach, colonize, invade and infect the host. The present study evaluated 120 isolates from eight different countries that were genotyped by RS-PCR and investigated for 26 different virulence factors to increase the knowledge on the circulating genetic lineages among the cow population with mastitis. New genotypes were observed for South African strains while for all the other countries new variants of existing genotypes were detected. For each country, a specific genotypic pattern was found. Among the virulence factors, fmtB, cna, clfA and leucocidins genes were the most frequent. The sea and sei genes were present in seven out of eight countries; seh showed high frequency in South American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Argentina), while sel was harboured especially in one Mediterranean country (Tunisia). The etb, seb and see genes were not detected in any of the isolates, while only two isolates were MRSA (Germany and Italy) confirming the low diffusion of methicillin resistance microorganism among bovine mastitis isolates. This work demonstrated the wide variety of S. aureus genotypes found in dairy cattle worldwide. This condition suggests that considering the region of interest might help to formulate strategies for reducing the infection spreading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Intestinal Microbiota Ecological Response to Oral Administrations of Hydrogen-Rich Water and Lactulose in Female Piglets Fed a Fusarium Toxin-Contaminated Diet
Received: 27 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
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Abstract
The objective of the current experiment was to explore the intestinal microbiota ecological response to oral administrations of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) and lactulose (LAC) in female piglets fed a Fusarium mycotoxin-contaminated diet. A total of 24 individually-housed female piglets (Landrace × large ×
[...] Read more.
The objective of the current experiment was to explore the intestinal microbiota ecological response to oral administrations of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) and lactulose (LAC) in female piglets fed a Fusarium mycotoxin-contaminated diet. A total of 24 individually-housed female piglets (Landrace × large × white; initial average body weight, 7.25 ± 1.02 kg) were randomly assigned to receive four treatments (six pigs/treatment): uncontaminated basal diet (negative control, NC), mycotoxin-contaminated diet (MC), MC diet + HRW (MC + HRW), and MC diet + LAC (MC + LAC) for 25 days. Hydrogen levels in the mucosa of different intestine segments were measured at the end of the experiment. Fecal scoring and diarrhea rate were recorded every day during the whole period of the experiment. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) profiles in the digesta of the foregut and hindgut samples were assayed. The populations of selected bacteria and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of total bacteria and methanogenic Archaea were also evaluated. Results showed that Fusarium mycotoxins not only reduced the hydrogen levels in the caecum but also shifted the SCFAs production, and populations and communities of microbiota. HRW treatment increased the hydrogen levels of the stomach and duodenum. HRW and LAC groups also had higher colon and caecum hydrogen levels than the MC group. Both HRW and LAC protected against the mycotoxin-contaminated diet-induced higher diarrhea rate and lower SCFA production in the digesta of the colon and caecum. In addition, the DGGE profile results indicated that HRW and LAC might shift the pathways of hydrogen-utilization bacteria, and change the diversity of intestine microbiota. Moreover, HRW and LAC administrations reversed the mycotoxin-contaminated diet-induced changing of the populations of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Bifidobacterium in ileum digesta and hydrogen-utilizing bacteria in colon digesta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mycotoxins on the Intestine)
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Open AccessArticle Bordetella Pertussis Adenylate Cyclase Toxin Does Not Possess a Phospholipase A Activity; Serine 606 and Aspartate 1079 Residues Are Not Involved in Target Cell Delivery of the Adenylyl Cyclase Enzyme Domain
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
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Abstract
The adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA, ACT, or AC-Hly) plays a crucial role in virulence and airway colonization capacity of the whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis. The toxin penetrates target cell membranes and exhibits three distinct biological activities. A population of CyaA conformers
[...] Read more.
The adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA, ACT, or AC-Hly) plays a crucial role in virulence and airway colonization capacity of the whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis. The toxin penetrates target cell membranes and exhibits three distinct biological activities. A population of CyaA conformers forms small cation-selective pores that permeabilize the cell membrane for potassium efflux, which can provoke colloid-osmotic (oncotic) cell lysis. The other two activities are due to CyaA conformers that transiently form calcium influx conduits in the target cell membrane and translocate the adenylate cyclase (AC) enzyme into cytosol of cells. A fourth putative biological activity has recently been reported; an intrinsic phospholipase A (PLA) activity was claimed to be associated with the CyaA polypeptide and be involved in the mechanism of translocation of the AC enzyme polypeptide across cell membrane lipid bilayer. However, the conclusions drawn by the authors contradicted their own results and we show them to be erroneous. We demonstrate that highly purified CyaA is devoid of any detectable phospholipase A1 activity and that contrary to the published claims, the two putative conserved phospholipase A catalytic residues, namely the Ser606 and Asp1079 residues, are not involved in the process of membrane translocation of the AC domain of CyaA across target membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Fusarium Molds and Mycotoxins: Potential Species-Specific Effects
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
This review summarizes the information on biochemical and biological activity of the main Fusarium mycotoxins, focusing on toxicological aspects in terms of species-specific effects. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have centered on the peculiarity of the responses to mycotoxins, demonstrating that
[...] Read more.
This review summarizes the information on biochemical and biological activity of the main Fusarium mycotoxins, focusing on toxicological aspects in terms of species-specific effects. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have centered on the peculiarity of the responses to mycotoxins, demonstrating that toxicokinetics, bioavailability and the mechanisms of action of these substances vary depending on the species involved, but additional studies are needed to better understand the specific responses. The aim of this review is to summarize the toxicological responses of the main species affected by Fusarium mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Fusarium Research)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Mycotoxin Residues on Ready-to-Eat Food by Chromatographic Methods Coupled to Mass Spectrometry in Tandem
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
Simultaneous determination of twenty-seven mycotoxins in ready-to-eat food samples using “Quick Easy Cheap Rough and Safe” (QuEChERS) extraction and chromatographic methods coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem is described in this study. Mycotoxins included in this survey were aflatoxins (B1, B
[...] Read more.
Simultaneous determination of twenty-seven mycotoxins in ready-to-eat food samples using “Quick Easy Cheap Rough and Safe” (QuEChERS) extraction and chromatographic methods coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem is described in this study. Mycotoxins included in this survey were aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2), enniatins (A, A1, B, B1), beauvericin (BEA), fumonisins (FB1, FB2), sterigmatocystin (STG), deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV), neosolaniol (NEO), diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), fusarenon-X (FUS-X), zearalenone (ZEA), α-zearalanol (αZAL), β-zearalenone (βZAL), α-zearalenol (αZOL), β-zearalenol (βzol), T2, and HT-2 toxin. The method showed satisfactory extraction results with recoveries ranging from 63 to 119% for the different food matrix samples. Limits of detection (LODS) and quantification (LOQs) were between 0.15–1.5 µg/kg and 0.5–5 µg/kg, respectively. The method was successfully applied to the analysis of 25 ready-to-eat food samples. Results showed presence of deoxynivalenol at 36% of samples (2.61–21.59 µg/kg), enniatin B at 20% of samples (9.83–86.32 µg/kg), HT-2 toxin at 16% of samples (9.06–34.43 µg/kg), and aflatoxin G2 at 4% of samples (2.84 µg/kg). Mycotoxins were detected mainly in ready-to-eat food samples prepared with cereals, vegetables, and legumes, even at levels below those often obtained from raw food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Mycotoxin Exposure: Emerging Risks to Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Application of Low-Fermenting Yeast Lachancea thermotolerans for the Control of Toxigenic Fungi Aspergillus parasiticus, Penicillium verrucosum and Fusarium graminearum and Their Mycotoxins
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Mycotoxins are important contaminants of food and feed. In this study, low fermenting yeast (Lachancea thermotolerans) and its derivatives were applied against toxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins. A. parasiticus, P. verrucosum and F. graminearum and their mycotoxins were exposed to
[...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are important contaminants of food and feed. In this study, low fermenting yeast (Lachancea thermotolerans) and its derivatives were applied against toxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins. A. parasiticus, P. verrucosum and F. graminearum and their mycotoxins were exposed to yeast volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and cells, respectively. VOCs reduced significantly the fungal growth (up to 48%) and the sporulation and mycotoxin synthesis (up to 96%). Very interestingly, it was shown that even 7 yeast colonies reduced Fusarium’s growth and the synthesis of its mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON). Moreover, decreasing yeast nutrient concentrations did not affect the inhibition of fungal growth, but reduced DON synthesis. In addition, inactivated yeast cells were able to remove up to 82% of the ochratoxin A (OTA). As an application of these findings, the potentialities of the VOCs to protect tomatoes inoculated with F. oxysporum was explored and showed that while in the presence of VOCs, no growth was observed of F. oxysporum on the inoculated surface areas of tomatoes, in the absence of VOCs, F. oxysporum infection reached up to 76% of the tomatoes’ surface areas. These results demonstrate that the application of yeasts and their derivatives in the agriculture and food industry might be considered as a very promising and safe biocontrol approach for food contamination. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Toxins of Locus of Enterocyte Effacement-Negative Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Studies on Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) typically examine and classify the virulence gene profiles based on genomic analyses. Among the screened strains, a subgroup of STEC which lacks the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) has frequently been identified. This raises the question
[...] Read more.
Studies on Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) typically examine and classify the virulence gene profiles based on genomic analyses. Among the screened strains, a subgroup of STEC which lacks the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) has frequently been identified. This raises the question about the level of pathogenicity of such strains. This review focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of the standard screening procedures in virulence profiling and summarizes the current knowledge concerning the function and regulation of toxins encoded by LEE-negative STEC. Although LEE-negative STEC usually come across as food isolates, which rarely cause infections in humans, some serotypes have been implicated in human diseases. In particular, the LEE-negative E. coli O104:H4 German outbreak strain from 2011 and the Australian O113:H21 strain isolated from a HUS patient attracted attention. Moreover, the LEE-negative STEC O113:H21 strain TS18/08 that was isolated from minced meat is remarkable in that it not only encodes multiple toxins, but in fact expresses three different toxins simultaneously. Their characterization contributes to understanding the virulence of the LEE-negative STEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessReview Functional Assays for Measuring the Catalytic Activity of Ribosome Inactivating Proteins
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are potent toxins that inactivate ribosomes by catalytically removing a specific adenine from the α-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) of the large rRNA. Direct assays for measuring depurination activity and indirect assays for measuring the resulting translation inhibition have been employed to
[...] Read more.
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are potent toxins that inactivate ribosomes by catalytically removing a specific adenine from the α-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) of the large rRNA. Direct assays for measuring depurination activity and indirect assays for measuring the resulting translation inhibition have been employed to determine the enzyme activity of RIPs. Rapid and sensitive methods to measure the depurination activity of RIPs are critical for assessing their reaction mechanism, enzymatic properties, interaction with ribosomal proteins, ribotoxic stress signaling, in the search for inhibitors and in the detection and diagnosis of enteric infections. Here, we review the major assays developed for measuring the catalytic activity of RIPs, discuss their advantages and disadvantages and explain how they are used in understanding the catalytic mechanism, ribosome specificity, and dynamic enzymatic features of RIPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxins:10th Anniversary)
Open AccessArticle Monocyte Response to Different Campylobacter jejuni Lysates Involves Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and the Lysosomal–Mitochondrial Axis: When Cell Death Is Better Than Cell Survival
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Campylobacter jejuni is a Gram-negative spiral-shaped bacterium, commonly associated with gastroenteritis in humans. It explicates its virulence also by the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), able to cause irreversible cell cycle arrest. Infection by C. jejuni may result in the development of the Guillain–Barré
[...] Read more.
Campylobacter jejuni is a Gram-negative spiral-shaped bacterium, commonly associated with gastroenteritis in humans. It explicates its virulence also by the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), able to cause irreversible cell cycle arrest. Infection by C. jejuni may result in the development of the Guillain–Barré Syndrome, an acute peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of this disease could be caused by CDT-induced cell death and a subsequent inflammatory response. We tested C. jejuni lysates from different strains on donor monocytes: in fact, monocytes are potent producers of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, playing a major role in innate immunity and in non-specific host responses. We found, by cytometric and confocal analyses, that mitochondria and lysosomes were differently targeted: The C. jejuni strain that induced the most relevant mitochondrial alterations was the ATCC 33291, confirming an intrinsic apoptotic pathway, whereas the C. jejuni ISS 1 wild-type strain mostly induced lysosomal alterations. Lysates from all strains induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in monocytes, suggesting that ER stress was not associated with CDT but to other C. jejuni virulence factors. The ER data were consistent with an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ content induced by the lysates. On the contrary, the changes in lysosomal acidic compartments and p53 expression (occurring together from time 0, T0, to 24 h) were mainly due to CDT. The loss of p53 may prevent or impede cell death and it was not observable with the mutant strain. CDT not only was responsible for specific death effects but also seemed to promote an apoptotic stimuli-resisting pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel ShK-Like Toxic Peptide from the Transcriptome of the Cnidarian Palythoa caribaeorum Displays Neuroprotection and Cardioprotection in Zebrafish
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
Palythoa caribaeorum (class Anthozoa) is a zoantharian which, together with other cnidarians, like jellyfishes, hydra, and sea anemones, possesses specialized structures in its tissues, the cnidocytes, which deliver an array of toxins in order to capture prey and deter predators. The whole transcriptome
[...] Read more.
Palythoa caribaeorum (class Anthozoa) is a zoantharian which, together with other cnidarians, like jellyfishes, hydra, and sea anemones, possesses specialized structures in its tissues, the cnidocytes, which deliver an array of toxins in order to capture prey and deter predators. The whole transcriptome of P. caribaeroum was deep sequenced, and a diversity of toxin-related peptide sequences were identified, and some retrieved for functional analysis. In this work, a peptide precursor containing a ShK domain, named PcShK3, was analyzed by means of computational processing, comprising structural phylogenetic analysis, model prediction, and dynamics simulation of peptide-receptor interaction. The combined data indicated that PcShK3 is a distinct peptide which is homologous to a cluster of peptides belonging to the ShK toxin family. In vivo, PcShK3 distributed across the vitelline membrane and accumulated in the yolk sac stripe of zebrafish larvae. Notably, it displayed a significant cardio-protective effect in zebrafish in concentrations inferior to the IC50 (<43.53 ± 6.45 µM), while in high concentrations (>IC50), it accumulated in the blood and caused pericardial edema, being cardiotoxic to zebrafish larvae. Remarkably, PcShK3 suppressed the 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity on the locomotive behavior of zebrafish. The present results indicated that PcShK3 is a novel member of ShK toxin family, and has the intrinsic ability to induce neuro- and cardio-protective effects or cause cardiac toxicity, according to its effective concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Marine Biotoxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Deleting Death and Dialysis: Conservative Care of Cardio-Vascular Risk and Kidney Function Loss in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Received: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
The uremic syndrome, which is the clinical expression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), is a complex amalgam of accelerated aging and organ dysfunctions, whereby cardio-vascular disease plays a capital role. In this narrative review, we offer a summary of the current conservative (medical)
[...] Read more.
The uremic syndrome, which is the clinical expression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), is a complex amalgam of accelerated aging and organ dysfunctions, whereby cardio-vascular disease plays a capital role. In this narrative review, we offer a summary of the current conservative (medical) treatment options for cardio-vascular and overall morbidity and mortality risk in CKD. Since the progression of CKD is also associated with a higher cardio-vascular risk, we summarize the interventions that may prevent the progression of CKD as well. We pay attention to established therapies, as well as to novel promising options. Approaches that have been considered are not limited to pharmacological approaches but take into account lifestyle measures and diet as well. We took as many randomized controlled hard endpoint outcome trials as possible into account, although observational studies and post hoc analyses were included where appropriate. We also considered health economic aspects. Based on this information, we constructed comprehensive tables summarizing the available therapeutic options and the number and kind of studies (controlled or not, contradictory outcomes or not) with regard to each approach. Our review underscores the scarcity of well-designed large controlled trials in CKD. Nevertheless, based on the controlled and observational data, a therapeutic algorithm can be developed for this complex and multifactorial condition. It is likely that interventions should be aimed at targeting several modifiable factors simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremia and Cardiovascular Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Basics of Antibody Phage Display Technology
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Antibody discovery has become increasingly important in almost all areas of modern medicine. Different antibody discovery approaches exist, but one that has gained increasing interest in the field of toxinology and antivenom research is phage display technology. In this review, the lifecycle of
[...] Read more.
Antibody discovery has become increasingly important in almost all areas of modern medicine. Different antibody discovery approaches exist, but one that has gained increasing interest in the field of toxinology and antivenom research is phage display technology. In this review, the lifecycle of the M13 phage and the basics of phage display technology are presented together with important factors influencing the success rates of phage display experiments. Moreover, the pros and cons of different antigen display methods and the use of naïve versus immunized phage display antibody libraries is discussed, and selected examples from the field of antivenom research are highlighted. This review thus provides in-depth knowledge on the principles and use of phage display technology with a special focus on discovery of antibodies that target animal toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery of Antibodies and Novel Antivenoms against Envenoming)
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Open AccessArticle Resveratrol Ameliorates Microcystin-LR-Induced Testis Germ Cell Apoptosis in Rats via SIRT1 Signaling Pathway Activation
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 3 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR), a cyclic heptapeptide produced by cyanobacteria, is a strong reproductive toxin. Studies performed in rat Sertoli cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells have demonstrated typical apoptosis after MC-LR exposure. However, little is known on how to protect against the reproductive
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Microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR), a cyclic heptapeptide produced by cyanobacteria, is a strong reproductive toxin. Studies performed in rat Sertoli cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells have demonstrated typical apoptosis after MC-LR exposure. However, little is known on how to protect against the reproductive toxicity induced by MC-LR. The present study aimed to explore the possible molecular mechanism underlying the anti-apoptosis and protective effects of resveratrol (RES) on the co-culture of Sertoli–germ cells and rat testes. The results demonstrated that MC-LR treatment inhibited the proliferation of Sertoli–germ cells and induced apoptosis. Furthermore, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and Bcl-2 were inhibited, while p53 and Ku70 acetylation, Bax expression, and cleaved caspase-3 were upregulated by MC-LR. However, RES pretreatment ameliorated MC-LR-induced apoptosis and SIRT1 inhibition, and downregulated the MC-LR-induced increase in p53 and Ku70 acetylation, Bax expression, and caspase-3 activation. In addition, RES reversed the MC-LR-mediated reduction in Ku70 binding to Bax. The present study indicated that the administration of RES could ameliorate MC-LR-induced Sertoli–germ cell apoptosis and protect against reproductive toxicity in rats by stimulating the SIRT1/p53 pathway, suppressing p53 and Ku70 acetylation and enhancing the binding of Ku70 to Bax. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins: New Advances and Future Challenges)
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Open AccessReview Membrane Repair Mechanisms against Permeabilization by Pore-Forming Toxins
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Permeabilization of the plasma membrane represents an important threat for any cell, since it compromises its viability by disrupting cell homeostasis. Numerous pathogenic bacteria produce pore-forming toxins that break plasma membrane integrity and cause cell death by colloid-osmotic lysis. Eukaryotic cells, in turn,
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Permeabilization of the plasma membrane represents an important threat for any cell, since it compromises its viability by disrupting cell homeostasis. Numerous pathogenic bacteria produce pore-forming toxins that break plasma membrane integrity and cause cell death by colloid-osmotic lysis. Eukaryotic cells, in turn, have developed different ways to cope with the effects of such membrane piercing. Here, we provide a short overview of the general mechanisms currently proposed for plasma membrane repair, focusing more specifically on the cellular responses to membrane permeabilization by pore-forming toxins and presenting new data on the effects and cellular responses to the permeabilization by an RTX (repeats in toxin) toxin, the adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin secreted by the whooping cough bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which we have studied in the laboratory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Pore-Forming Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Purification and Characterization of a Novel Insecticidal Toxin, μ-sparatoxin-Hv2, from the Venom of the Spider Heteropoda venatoria
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 3 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
The venom of the spider Heteropoda venatoria produced lethal effect to cockroaches as reported in our previous study, and could be a resource for naturally-occurring insecticides. The present study characterized a novel cockroach voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) antagonist, μ-sparatoxin-Hv2 (μ-SPRTX-Hv2 for
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The venom of the spider Heteropoda venatoria produced lethal effect to cockroaches as reported in our previous study, and could be a resource for naturally-occurring insecticides. The present study characterized a novel cockroach voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) antagonist, μ-sparatoxin-Hv2 (μ-SPRTX-Hv2 for short), from this venom. μ-SPRTX-Hv2 is composed of 37 amino acids and contains six conserved cysteines. We synthesized the toxin by using the chemical synthesis method. The toxin was lethal to cockroaches when intraperitoneally injected, with a LD50 value of 2.8 nmol/g of body weight. Electrophysiological data showed that the toxin potently blocked NaVs in cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, with an IC50 of 833.7 ± 132.2 nM, but it hardly affected the DUM voltage-gated potassium channels (KVs) and the DUM high-voltage-activated calcium channels (HVA CaVs). The toxin also did not affect NaVs, HVA CaVs, and Kvs in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, as well as NaV subtypes NaV1.3–1.5, NaV1.7, and NaV1.8. No envenomation symptoms were observed when μ-SPRTX-Hv2 was intraperitoneally injected into mouse at the dose of 7.0 μg/g. In summary, μ-SPRTX-Hv2 is a novel insecticidal toxin from H. venatoria venom. It might exhibit its effect by blocking the insect NaVs and is a candidate for developing bioinsecticide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diel Variations in Cell Abundance and Trophic Transfer of Diarrheic Toxins during a Massive Dinophysis Bloom in Southern Brazil
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
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Abstract
Dinophysis spp. are a major source of diarrheic toxins to marine food webs, especially during blooms. This study documented the occurrence, in late May 2016, of a massive toxic bloom of the Dinophysis acuminata complex along the southern coast of Brazil, associated with
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Dinophysis spp. are a major source of diarrheic toxins to marine food webs, especially during blooms. This study documented the occurrence, in late May 2016, of a massive toxic bloom of the Dinophysis acuminata complex along the southern coast of Brazil, associated with an episode of marked salinity stratification. The study tracked the daily vertical distribution of Dinophysis spp. cells and their ciliate prey, Mesodinium cf. rubrum, and quantified the amount of lipophilic toxins present in seston and accumulated by various marine organisms in the food web. The abundance of the D. acuminata complex reached 43 × 104 cells·L−1 at 1.0 m depth at the peak of the bloom. Maximum cell densities of cryptophyceans and M. cf. rubrum (>500 × 104 and 18 × 104 cell·L−1, respectively) were recorded on the first day of sampling, one week before the peak in abundance of the D. acuminata complex. The diarrheic toxin okadaic acid (OA) was the only toxin detected during the bloom, attaining unprecedented, high concentrations of up to 829 µg·L−1 in seston, and 143 ± 93 pg·cell−1 in individually picked cells of the D. acuminata complex. Suspension-feeders such as the mussel, Perna perna, and barnacle, Megabalanus tintinnabulum, accumulated maximum OA levels (up to 578.4 and 21.9 µg total OA·Kg−1, respectively) during early bloom stages, whereas predators and detritivores such as Caprellidae amphipods (154.6 µg·Kg−1), Stramonita haemastoma gastropods (111.6 µg·Kg−1), Pilumnus spinosissimus crabs (33.4 µg·Kg−1) and a commercially important species of shrimp, Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (7.2 µg·Kg−1), only incorporated OA from mid- to late bloom stages. Conjugated forms of OA were dominant (>70%) in most organisms, except in blenny fish, Hypleurochilus fissicornis, and polychaetes, Pseudonereis palpata (up to 59.3 and 164.6 µg total OA·Kg−1, respectively), which contained mostly free-OA throughout the bloom. Although algal toxins are only regulated in bivalves during toxic blooms in most countries, including Brazil, this study indicates that human seafood consumers might be exposed to moderate toxin levels from a variety of other vectors during intense toxic outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dinophysis Toxins: Distribution, Fate in Shellfish and Impacts)
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Open AccessReview Engineering of Botulinum Neurotoxins for Biomedical Applications
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
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Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have been used as therapeutic agents in the clinical treatment of a wide array of neuromuscular and autonomic neuronal transmission disorders. These toxins contain three functional domains that mediate highly specific neuronal cell binding, internalization and cytosolic delivery of proteolytic
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Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have been used as therapeutic agents in the clinical treatment of a wide array of neuromuscular and autonomic neuronal transmission disorders. These toxins contain three functional domains that mediate highly specific neuronal cell binding, internalization and cytosolic delivery of proteolytic enzymes that cleave proteins integral to the exocytosis of neurotransmitters. The exceptional cellular specificity, potency and persistence within the neuron that make BoNTs such effective toxins, also make them attractive models for derivatives that have modified properties that could potentially expand their therapeutic repertoire. Advances in molecular biology techniques and rapid DNA synthesis have allowed a wide variety of novel BoNTs with alternative functions to be assessed as potential new classes of therapeutic drugs. This review examines how the BoNTs have been engineered in an effort to produce new classes of therapeutic molecules to address a wide array of disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel BoNTs and Toxin Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Fumonisin-Exposure Impairs Age-Related Ecological Succession of Bacterial Species in Weaned Pig Gut Microbiota
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Pigs are highly affected by dietary mycotoxin contamination and particularly by fumonisin. The effects of fumonisin on pig intestinal health are well documented, but little is known regarding its impact on gut microbiota. We investigate the effects of the fumonisin (FB1, 12 mg/kg
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Pigs are highly affected by dietary mycotoxin contamination and particularly by fumonisin. The effects of fumonisin on pig intestinal health are well documented, but little is known regarding its impact on gut microbiota. We investigate the effects of the fumonisin (FB1, 12 mg/kg feed) on the fecal microbiota of piglets (n = 6) after 0, 8, 15, 22, and 29 days of exposure. A control group of six piglets received a diet free of FB1. Bacterial community diversity, structure and taxonomic composition were carried out by V3–V4 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Exposure to FB1 decreases the diversity index, and shifts and constrains the structure and the composition of the bacterial community. This takes place as early as after 15 days of exposure and is at a maximum after 22 days of exposure. Compared to control, FB1 alters the ecological succession of fecal microbiota species toward higher levels of Lactobacillus and lower levels of the Lachnospiraceae and Veillonellaceae families, and particularly OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units) of the genera Mitsuokella, Faecalibacterium and Roseburia. In conclusion, FB1 shifts and constrains age-related evolution of microbiota. The direct or indirect contribution of FB1 microbiota alteration in the global host response to FB1 toxicity remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mycotoxins on the Intestine)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Uremic Toxins and Clinical Outcomes: The Impact of Kidney Transplantation
Received: 6 May 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Non-transplanted and transplanted patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) differ in terms of mortality and the risk of clinical events. This difference is probably due to the difference of both traditional and non-traditional risk factors. Uremic retention solutes may constitute important non-traditional risk
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Non-transplanted and transplanted patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) differ in terms of mortality and the risk of clinical events. This difference is probably due to the difference of both traditional and non-traditional risk factors. Uremic retention solutes may constitute important non-traditional risk factors in this population. In the present review, we selected a set of uremic toxins that have been associated with harmful effects, and are an appealing target for adjuvant therapy in CKD. For each toxin reviewed here, relevant studies were selected and the relationship with hard clinical outcomes of uremic toxins were compared between non-transplanted CKD patients and transplanted patients taking into account the level of glomerular filtration rate in these two situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremia and Cardiovascular Disease)
Open AccessArticle Hydrogen-Rich Water and Lactulose Protect Against Growth Suppression and Oxidative Stress in Female Piglets Fed Fusarium Toxins Contaminated Diets
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
The objective of the current experiment was to evaluate whether hydrogen-rich water (HRW) or lactulose (LAC) could protect against the adverse effects of Fusarium mycotoxins-contaminated diet on the growth performance and antioxidant status in weaning piglets. A total of 24 individually housed female
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The objective of the current experiment was to evaluate whether hydrogen-rich water (HRW) or lactulose (LAC) could protect against the adverse effects of Fusarium mycotoxins-contaminated diet on the growth performance and antioxidant status in weaning piglets. A total of 24 individually housed female piglets were randomly assigned to receive four treatments for 25 days (six pigs/treatment): uncontaminated basal diet (negative control), mycotoxin-contaminated (MC) diet, MC diet + HRW (MC + HRW) and MC diet + LAC (MC + LAC). The plasma hydrogen levels before and after 2 h hydrogen-free water/HRW administration were detected at day 21, and the liver hydrogen levels were detected at the end of the experiment. Serum hormones related to appetite regulation, and serum and liver oxidant and antioxidant status were also measured at the end of the experiment. Results showed that both HRW and LAC treatments significantly attenuated the reduction of average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) caused by Fusarium mycotoxins. LAC administration increased the hydrogen concentrations in plasma and liver. HRW treated group had higher plasma hydrogen levels than the MC group. Compared with the NC group, the MC group had significantly increased serum peptide YY (PYY) and cholecystokinin (CCK) levels. Interestingly, both HRW and LAC administrations had a lower reduced serum PYY and CKK levels. Most importantly, oral administration of HRW and LAC attenuated the Fusarium mycotoxins-induced oxidative stress. In conclusion, oral administration of hydrogen-rich water or lactulose could both protect against the growth reduction and oxidative damage caused by Fusarium mycotoxins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Loop Replacement Enhances the Ancestral Antibacterial Function of a Bifunctional Scorpion Toxin
Received: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
On the basis of the evolutionary relationship between scorpion toxins targeting K+ channels (KTxs) and antibacterial defensins (Zhu S., Peigneur S., Gao B., Umetsu Y., Ohki S., Tytgat J. Experimental conversion of a defensin into a neurotoxin: Implications for origin of toxic
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On the basis of the evolutionary relationship between scorpion toxins targeting K+ channels (KTxs) and antibacterial defensins (Zhu S., Peigneur S., Gao B., Umetsu Y., Ohki S., Tytgat J. Experimental conversion of a defensin into a neurotoxin: Implications for origin of toxic function. Mol. Biol. Evol. 2014, 31, 546–559), we performed protein engineering experiments to modify a bifunctional KTx (i.e., weak inhibitory activities on both K+ channels and bacteria) via substituting its carboxyl loop with the structurally equivalent loop of contemporary defensins. As expected, the engineered peptide (named MeuTXKα3-KFGGI) remarkably improved the antibacterial activity, particularly on some Gram-positive bacteria, including several antibiotic-resistant opportunistic pathogens. Compared with the unmodified toxin, its antibacterial spectrum also enlarged. Our work provides a new method to enhance the antibacterial activity of bifunctional scorpion venom peptides, which might be useful in engineering other proteins with an ancestral activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scorpion Toxins)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Uremic Toxin Clearance and Cardiovascular Toxicities
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
Uremic solutes contribute to cardiovascular disease in renal insufficiency. In this review we describe the clearance of selected uremic solutes, which have been associated with cardiovascular disease. These solutes—indoxyl sulfate (IS), p-cresol sulfate (PCS), phenylacetylglutamine (PAG), trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO), and kynurenine—exemplify different mechanisms of
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Uremic solutes contribute to cardiovascular disease in renal insufficiency. In this review we describe the clearance of selected uremic solutes, which have been associated with cardiovascular disease. These solutes—indoxyl sulfate (IS), p-cresol sulfate (PCS), phenylacetylglutamine (PAG), trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO), and kynurenine—exemplify different mechanisms of clearance. IS and PCS are protein-bound solutes efficiently cleared by the native kidney through tubular secretion. PAG and TMAO are not protein-bound but are also cleared by the native kidney through tubular secretion, while kynurenine is not normally cleared by the kidney. Increases in the plasma levels of the normally secreted solutes IS, PCS, TMAO, and PAG in chronic kidney disease (CKD) are attributable to a reduction in their renal clearances. Levels of each of these potential toxins are even higher in patients on dialysis than in those with advanced chronic kidney disease, which can be accounted for in part by a low ratio of dialytic to native kidney clearance. The rise in plasma kynurenine in CKD and dialysis patients, by contrast, remains to be explained. Our ability to detect lower levels of the potential uremic cardiovascular toxins with renal replacement therapy may be limited by the intermittency of treatment, by increases in solute production, and by the presence of non-renal clearance. Reduction in the levels of uremic cardiovascular toxins may in the future be achieved more effectively by inhibiting their production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremia and Cardiovascular Disease)
Open AccessArticle The Binary Toxin CDT of Clostridium difficile as a Tool for Intracellular Delivery of Bacterial Glucosyltransferase Domains
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Binary toxins are produced by several pathogenic bacteria. Examples are the C2 toxin from Clostridium botulinum, the iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens, and the CDT from Clostridium difficile. All these binary toxins have ADP-ribosyltransferases (ADPRT) as their enzymatically active component that
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Binary toxins are produced by several pathogenic bacteria. Examples are the C2 toxin from Clostridium botulinum, the iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens, and the CDT from Clostridium difficile. All these binary toxins have ADP-ribosyltransferases (ADPRT) as their enzymatically active component that modify monomeric actin in their target cells. The binary C2 toxin was intensively described as a tool for intracellular delivery of allogenic ADPRTs. Here, we firstly describe the binary toxin CDT from C. difficile as an effective tool for heterologous intracellular delivery. Even 60 kDa glucosyltransferase domains of large clostridial glucosyltransferases can be delivered into cells. The glucosyltransferase domains of five tested large clostridial glucosyltransferases were successfully introduced into cells as chimeric fusions to the CDTa adapter domain (CDTaN). Cell uptake was demonstrated by the analysis of cell morphology, cytoskeleton staining, and intracellular substrate glucosylation. The fusion toxins were functional only when the adapter domain of CDTa was N-terminally located, according to its native orientation. Thus, like other binary toxins, the CDTaN/b system can be used for standardized delivery systems not only for bacterial ADPRTs but also for a variety of bacterial glucosyltransferase domains. Full article
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Open AccessReview Botulinum Toxin for Central Neuropathic Pain
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Botulinum toxin (BTX) is widely used to treat muscle spasticity by acting on motor neurons. Recently, studies of the effects of BTX on sensory nerves have been reported and several studies have been conducted to evaluate its effects on peripheral and central neuropathic
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Botulinum toxin (BTX) is widely used to treat muscle spasticity by acting on motor neurons. Recently, studies of the effects of BTX on sensory nerves have been reported and several studies have been conducted to evaluate its effects on peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Central neuropathic pain includes spinal cord injury-related neuropathic pain, post-stroke shoulder pain, multiple sclerosis-related pain, and complex regional pain syndrome. This article reviews the mechanism of central neuropathic pain and assesses the effect of BTX on central neuropathic pain. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Fructo-Oligosaccharide (DFA III) Feed Supplementation for Mitigation of Mycotoxin Exposure in Cattle—Clinical Evaluation by a Urinary Zearalenone Monitoring System
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
The potential effect of difructose anhydride III (DFA III) supplementation in cattle feed was evaluated using a previously developed urinary-zearalenone (ZEN) monitoring system. Japanese Black cattle from two beef herds aged 9–10 months were used. DFA III was supplemented for two weeks. ZEN
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The potential effect of difructose anhydride III (DFA III) supplementation in cattle feed was evaluated using a previously developed urinary-zearalenone (ZEN) monitoring system. Japanese Black cattle from two beef herds aged 9–10 months were used. DFA III was supplemented for two weeks. ZEN concentrations in feed were similar in both herds (0.27 and 0.22 mg/kg in roughage and concentrates, respectively), and below the maximum allowance in Japan. ZEN, α-zearalenol (α-ZOL), and β-ZOL concentrations in urine were measured using LC/MS/MS the day before DFA III administration, 9 and 14 days thereafter, and 9 days after supplementation ceased. Significant differences in ZEN, α-ZOL, β-ZOL, and total ZEN were recorded on different sampling dates. The concentration of inorganic phosphate in DFA III-supplemented animals was significantly higher than in controls on day 23 (8.4 vs. 7.7 mg/dL), suggesting a possible role of DFA III in tight junction of intestinal epithelial cells. This is the first evidence that DFA III reduces mycotoxin levels reaching the systemic circulation and excreted in urine. This preventive effect may involve an improved tight-junction-dependent intestinal barrier function. Additionally, our practical approach confirmed that monitoring of urinary mycotoxin is useful for evaluating the effects of dietary supplements to prevent mycotoxin adsorption. Full article
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