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Toxins, Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2019) – 67 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Animal venoms, especially from spiders, are among the most promising sources of novel drug leads. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fumonisins at Doses below EU Regulatory Limits Induce Histological Alterations in Piglets
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090548 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Fumonisins (FBs) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species that can contaminate human food and animal feed. Due to the harmful effects of FBs on animals, the European Union (EU) defined a recommendation of a maximum of 5 mg FBs (B1 + B2)/kg for [...] Read more.
Fumonisins (FBs) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species that can contaminate human food and animal feed. Due to the harmful effects of FBs on animals, the European Union (EU) defined a recommendation of a maximum of 5 mg FBs (B1 + B2)/kg for complete feed for swine and 1 µg FBs/kg body weight per day as the tolerable daily intake for humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of dietary exposure to low doses of FBs, including a dose below the EU regulatory limits. Four groups of 24 weaned castrated male piglets were exposed to feed containing 0, 3.7, 8.1, and 12.2 mg/kg of FBs for 28 days; the impact was measured by biochemical analysis and histopathological observations. Dietary exposure to FBs at a low dose (3.7 mg/kg of feed) significantly increased the plasma sphinganine-to-sphingosine ratio. FBs-contaminated diets led to histological modifications in the intestine, heart, lung, lymphoid organs, kidney, and liver. The histological alterations in the heart and the intestine appeared at the lowest dose of FBs-contaminated diet (3.7 mg/kg feed) and in the kidney at the intermediate dose (8.1 mg/kg feed). At the highest dose tested (12.2 mg/kg feed), all the organs displayed histological alterations. This dose also induced biochemical modifications indicative of kidney and liver alterations. In conclusion, our data indicate that FBs-contaminated diets at doses below the EU regulatory limit cause histological lesions in several organs. This study suggests that EU recommendations for the concentration of FBs in animal feed, especially for swine, are not sufficiently protective and that regulatory doses should be modified for better protection of animal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessReview
Can Botulinum Toxin A Still Have a Role in Treatment of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms/Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Through Inhibition of Chronic Prostatic Inflammation?
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090547 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can exhibit various lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) owing to bladder outlet obstruction (BOO), prostatic inflammation, and bladder response to BOO. The pathogenesis of BPH involves an imbalance of internal hormones and chronic prostatic inflammation, possibly triggered [...] Read more.
Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can exhibit various lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) owing to bladder outlet obstruction (BOO), prostatic inflammation, and bladder response to BOO. The pathogenesis of BPH involves an imbalance of internal hormones and chronic prostatic inflammation, possibly triggered by prostatic infection, autoimmune responses, neurogenic inflammation, oxidative stress, and autonomic dysfunction. Botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A) is well recognized for its ability to block acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction by cleaving synaptosomal-associated proteins. Although current large clinical trials have shown no clinical benefits of BoNT-A for the management of LUTS due to BPH, BoNT-A has demonstrated beneficial effects in certain subsets of BPH patients with LUTS, especially in males with concomitant chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and smaller prostate. We conducted a review of published literature in Pubmed, using Botulinum toxin, BPH, BOO, inflammation, LUTS, and prostatitis as the key words. This article reviewed the mechanisms of BPH pathogenesis and anti-inflammatory effects of BoNT-A. The results suggested that to achieve effectiveness, the treatment of BPH with BoNT-A should be tailored according to more detailed clinical information and reliable biomarkers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Identification of Aethina tumida Kir Channels as Putative Targets of the Bee Venom Peptide Tertiapin Using Structure-Based Virtual Screening Methods
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090546 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
Venoms are comprised of diverse mixtures of proteins, peptides, and small molecules. Identifying individual venom components and their target(s) with mechanism of action is now attainable to understand comprehensively the effectiveness of venom cocktails and how they collectively function in the defense and [...] Read more.
Venoms are comprised of diverse mixtures of proteins, peptides, and small molecules. Identifying individual venom components and their target(s) with mechanism of action is now attainable to understand comprehensively the effectiveness of venom cocktails and how they collectively function in the defense and predation of an organism. Here, structure-based computational methods were used with bioinformatics tools to screen and identify potential biological targets of tertiapin (TPN), a venom peptide from Apis mellifera (European honey bee). The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida (A. tumida)) is a natural predator of the honey bee colony and was found to possess multiple inwardly rectifying K+ (Kir) channel subunit genes from a genomic BLAST search analysis. Structure-based virtual screening of homology modelled A. tumida Kir (atKir) channels found TPN to interact with a docking profile and interface “footprint” equivalent to known TPN-sensitive mammalian Kir channels. The results support the hypothesis that atKir channels, and perhaps other insect Kir channels, are natural biological targets of TPN that help defend the bee colony from infestations by blocking K+ transport via atKir channels. From these in silico findings, this hypothesis can now be subsequently tested in vitro by validating atKir channel block as well as in vivo TPN toxicity towards A. tumida. This study highlights the utility and potential benefits of screening in virtual space for venom peptide interactions and their biological targets, which otherwise would not be feasible. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Inhibition of Pore-Forming Proteins
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090545 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Perforation of cellular membranes by pore-forming proteins can affect cell physiology, tissue integrity, or immune response. Since many pore-forming proteins are toxins or highly potent virulence factors, they represent an attractive target for the development of molecules that neutralize their actions with high [...] Read more.
Perforation of cellular membranes by pore-forming proteins can affect cell physiology, tissue integrity, or immune response. Since many pore-forming proteins are toxins or highly potent virulence factors, they represent an attractive target for the development of molecules that neutralize their actions with high efficacy. There has been an assortment of inhibitors developed to specifically obstruct the activity of pore-forming proteins, in addition to vaccination and antibiotics that serve as a plausible treatment for the majority of diseases caused by bacterial infections. Here we review a wide range of potential inhibitors that can specifically and effectively block the activity of pore-forming proteins, from small molecules to more specific macromolecular systems, such as synthetic nanoparticles, antibodies, antibody mimetics, polyvalent inhibitors, and dominant negative mutants. We discuss their mechanism of inhibition, as well as advantages and disadvantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pore-Forming Toxins (PFTs): Never Out of Fashion)
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Managing and Controlling Aflatoxin Producers Within Aspergillus Species in Infested Rice Grains Collected from Local Markets in Kenya
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090544 - 19 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1140
Abstract
Rice grains can be attacked by a range of pathogens, including Aspergillus species, which can cause the accumulation of aflatoxins and represent a serious threat to the consumers. Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites synthesized by Aspergillus species and naturally occur in various foodstuffs. In [...] Read more.
Rice grains can be attacked by a range of pathogens, including Aspergillus species, which can cause the accumulation of aflatoxins and represent a serious threat to the consumers. Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites synthesized by Aspergillus species and naturally occur in various foodstuffs. In this study, we sought to analyze the prevalence of aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus spp. in rice grains currently sold in Kenyan local markets. We analyzed a total of 98 samples randomly collected and primarily analyzed to observe moisture content and fungal growth. We then isolated Aspergillus species, characterized them morphologically and using the Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) primers. Finally, we screened them for aflatoxin-producing isolates targeting Norsolorinic Acid (nor-1) and Versicolorin (ver-1) specific genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. We observed that all tested samples were contaminated. The highest prevalence of Aspergillus species and aflatoxigenic fungal species, had values of 66% and 36.4% for nor-1 and ver-1, respectively. In total, 66% of all isolates were confirmed to be aflatoxin producers. The occurrence of high contamination levels of Aspergillus species points to the possibility of production of aflatoxins in rice grains. This work provides a baseline for future studies on the occurrence of mycotoxigenic fungal species in rice grains being sold in local markets and strategies to control these aflatoxigenic strains at pre- and post-harvest levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Analysis of Clostridium perfringens BEC/CPILE-Positive, Toxinotype D and E Strains Isolated from Healthy Children
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090543 - 19 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens toxinotype D, toxinotype E, and gastroenteritis-linked BEC/CPILE-positive strains have never been reported in healthy children. We isolated, whole-genome sequenced and bioinformatically characterised three C. perfringens isolates—type D (IQ1), type E (IQ2) and BEC/CPILE-positive (IQ3), recovered from the stools of three healthy [...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens toxinotype D, toxinotype E, and gastroenteritis-linked BEC/CPILE-positive strains have never been reported in healthy children. We isolated, whole-genome sequenced and bioinformatically characterised three C. perfringens isolates—type D (IQ1), type E (IQ2) and BEC/CPILE-positive (IQ3), recovered from the stools of three healthy two-year-olds, which were further compared to 128 C. perfringens genomes available from NCBI. The analysis uncovered a previously under-described putative toxin gene alv (alveolysin) encoded by isolates IQ2 and IQ3, which appeared to be a clade-specific trait associated with strains from domestic animals. A plasmid analysis indicated that the iota-toxin was encoded on a near-intact previously described plasmid pCPPB-1 in type E strain IQ2. The BEC genes becA and becB were carried on a near-identical pCPOS-1 plasmid previously associated with Japanese gastroenteritis outbreaks. Furthermore, a close phylogenetic relatedness was inferred between the French C. perfringens type E isolates cp515.17 and newly sequenced IQ2, suggesting geographical links. This study describes novel C. perfringens isolates from healthy individuals which encode important toxin genes, indicating the potential spread of these veterinary and clinically important strains and mobile genetic elements, and highlights areas for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Techniques for Toxins Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Alkaloid Lindoldhamine Inhibits Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 1a and Reveals Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090542 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), which are present in almost all types of neurons, play an important role in physiological and pathological processes. The ASIC1a subtype is the most sensitive channel to the medium’s acidification, and it plays an important role in the excitation [...] Read more.
Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), which are present in almost all types of neurons, play an important role in physiological and pathological processes. The ASIC1a subtype is the most sensitive channel to the medium’s acidification, and it plays an important role in the excitation of neurons in the central nervous system. Ligands of the ASIC1a channel are of great interest, both fundamentally and pharmaceutically. Using a two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiological approach, we characterized lindoldhamine (a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid extracted from the leaves of Laurus nobilis L.) as a novel inhibitor of the ASIC1a channel. Lindoldhamine significantly inhibited the ASIC1a channel’s response to physiologically-relevant stimuli of pH 6.5–6.85 with IC50 range 150–9 μM, but produced only partial inhibition of that response to more acidic stimuli. In mice, the intravenous administration of lindoldhamine at a dose of 1 mg/kg significantly reversed complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced thermal hyperalgesia and inflammation; however, this administration did not affect the pain response to an intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid (which correlated well with the function of ASIC1a in the peripheral nervous system). Thus, we describe lindoldhamine as a novel antagonist of the ASIC1a channel that could provide new approaches to drug design and structural studies regarding the determinants of ASIC1a activation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Dried Blood Spots for Multi-Mycotoxin Biomarker Analysis in Pigs and Broiler Chickens
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090541 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Dried blood spots (DBSs), a micro-sampling technique whereby a drop of blood is collected on filter paper has multiple advantages over conventional blood sampling regarding the sampling itself, as well as transportation and storage. This is the first paper describing the development and [...] Read more.
Dried blood spots (DBSs), a micro-sampling technique whereby a drop of blood is collected on filter paper has multiple advantages over conventional blood sampling regarding the sampling itself, as well as transportation and storage. This is the first paper describing the development and validation of a method for the determination of 23 mycotoxins and phase I metabolites in DBSs from pigs and broiler chickens using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The targeted mycotoxins belong to groups for which the occurrence in feed is regulated by the European Union, namely, aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and several Fusarium mycotoxins, and to two groups of unregulated mycotoxins, namely Alternaria mycotoxins and Fusarium mycotoxins (enniatins and beauvericin). The impact of blood haematocrit, DBS sampling volume and size of the analysed DBS disk on the validation results was assessed. No effects of variation in size of the analysed disk, haematocrit and spotted blood volume were observed for most mycotoxins, except for the aflatoxins and β-zearalanol (BZAL) at the lowest haematocrit (26%) level and for the enniatins (ENNs) at the lowest volume (40 µL). The developed method was transferred to an LC-high resolution mass spectrometry instrument to determine phase II metabolites. Then, the DBS technique was applied in a proof-of-concept toxicokinetic study including a comparison with LC-MS/MS data from plasma obtained with conventional venous blood sampling. A strong correlation (r > 0.947) was observed between plasma and DBS concentrations. Finally, DBSs were also applied in a pilot exposure assessment study to test their applicability under field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Biomarkers of Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle
Astaxanthin Protects OTA-Induced Lung Injury in Mice through the Nrf2/NF-κB Pathway
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090540 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
The aim of this research was to evaluate the potential protective mechanism of astaxanthin (ASTA) against oxidative damage and inflammation caused by ochratoxin (OTA) in mouse lung. We divided mice into a control group (CG), an OTA group (PG), an astaxanthin group (AG), [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to evaluate the potential protective mechanism of astaxanthin (ASTA) against oxidative damage and inflammation caused by ochratoxin (OTA) in mouse lung. We divided mice into a control group (CG), an OTA group (PG), an astaxanthin group (AG), and an OTA+ASTA group (JG). Oxidative indices (malondialdehyde (MDA), total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH)) and inflammatory markers (interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)) were assayed in the lung, and the lung-weight-to-body-weight ratio was calculated. Apoptosis was detected in pathological sections by the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Oxidative damage and inflammation were detected in the lung of mice after exposure to OTA. Besides, Nrf2- and NF-κB-pathway-associated proteins were detected by Western blot. In contrast with OTA, ASTA significantly raised the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and MnSOD, while the expression of other proteins (Keap1, TLR4, and NF-κB) was significantly decreased. These results indicate that ASTA exerted protective effects against OTA-induced oxidative damage and inflammation in the lung by regulating the Nrf2 and NF-κB pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins, Immunity, and Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of a Novel Saxitoxin Analogue, 12β-Deoxygonyautoxin 3, in the Cyanobacterium, Anabaena circinalis (TA04)
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090539 - 16 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Saxitoxin (STX) and its analogues, the potent voltage-gated sodium channel blockers, are biosynthesized by freshwater cyanobacteria and marine dinoflagellates. We previously identified several biosynthetic intermediates in the extract of the cyanobacterium, Anabaena circinalis (TA04), that are primarily produced during the early and middle [...] Read more.
Saxitoxin (STX) and its analogues, the potent voltage-gated sodium channel blockers, are biosynthesized by freshwater cyanobacteria and marine dinoflagellates. We previously identified several biosynthetic intermediates in the extract of the cyanobacterium, Anabaena circinalis (TA04), that are primarily produced during the early and middle stages in the biosynthetic pathway to produce STX. These findings allowed us to propose a putative biosynthetic pathway responsible for STX production based on the structures of these intermediates. In the present study, we identified 12β-deoxygonyautoxin 3 (12β-deoxyGTX3), a novel STX analogue produced by A. circinalis (TA04), by comparing the retention time and MS/MS fragmentation pattern with those of synthetic standards using LC–MS. The presence of this compound in A. circinalis (TA04) is consistent with stereoselective enzymatic oxidations at C11 and C12, and 11-O-sulfation, during the late stage of STX biosynthesis, as proposed in previous studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins Detection)
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Open AccessArticle
The Cadherin Cry1Ac Binding-Region is Necessary for the Cooperative Effect with ABCC2 Transporter Enhancing Insecticidal Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac Toxin
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090538 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin binds to midgut proteins, as cadherin (CAD) and ABCC2 transporter, to form pores leading to larval death. In cell lines, co-expression of CAD and ABCC2 enhance Cry1Ac toxicity significantly, but the mechanism remains elusive. Here, we show that the [...] Read more.
Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin binds to midgut proteins, as cadherin (CAD) and ABCC2 transporter, to form pores leading to larval death. In cell lines, co-expression of CAD and ABCC2 enhance Cry1Ac toxicity significantly, but the mechanism remains elusive. Here, we show that the expression of Helicoverpa armigera CAD (HaCAD-GFP) in Hi5 cells induces susceptibility to Cry1Ac and enhanced Cry1Ac toxicity when co-expressed with H. armigera ABCC2 (HaABCC2-GFP), since Cry1Ac toxicity increased 735-fold compared to Hi5 cells expressing HaCAD-GFP alone or 28-fold compared to HaABCC2-GFP alone. In contrast, the expression of the Spodoptera litura CAD (SlCAD-GFP) in Hi5 cells did not induce susceptibility to Cry1Ac nor it potentiated Cry1Ac toxicity with HaABCC2-GFP. To identify the CAD regions involved in the enhancement of Cry1Ac toxicity with ABCC2, the different CAD domains were replaced between SlCAD-GFP and HaCad-GFP proteins, and cytotoxicity assays were performed in Hi5 cells in the absence or presence of HaABCC2-GFP. The HaCAD toxin-binding region (TB), specifically the CAD repeat-11, was necessary to enhance Cry1Ac toxicity with ABCC2. We propose that CAD TB is involved in recruiting Cry1Ac to localize it in a good position for its interaction with the ABCC2, resulting in efficient toxin membrane insertion enhancing Cry1Ac toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticidal Toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis)
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Open AccessArticle
Twenty-Eight Fungal Secondary Metabolites Detected in Pig Feed Samples: Their Occurrence, Relevance and Cytotoxic Effects In Vitro
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090537 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Feed samples are frequently contaminated by a wide range of chemically diverse natural products, which can be determined using highly sensitive analytical techniques. Next to already well-investigated mycotoxins, unknown or unregulated fungal secondary metabolites have also been found, some of which at significant [...] Read more.
Feed samples are frequently contaminated by a wide range of chemically diverse natural products, which can be determined using highly sensitive analytical techniques. Next to already well-investigated mycotoxins, unknown or unregulated fungal secondary metabolites have also been found, some of which at significant concentrations. In our study, 1141 pig feed samples were analyzed for more than 800 secondary fungal metabolites using the same LC-MS/MS method and ranked according to their prevalence. Effects on the viability of the 28 most relevant were tested on an intestinal porcine epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2). The most frequently occurring compounds were determined as being cyclo-(L-Pro-L-Tyr), moniliformin, and enniatin B, followed by enniatin B1, aurofusarin, culmorin, and enniatin A1. The main mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, were found only at ranks 8 and 10. Regarding cytotoxicity, apicidin, gliotoxin, bikaverin, and beauvericin led to lower IC50 values, between 0.52 and 2.43 µM, compared to deoxynivalenol (IC50 = 2.55 µM). Significant cytotoxic effects were also seen for the group of enniatins, which occurred in up to 82.2% of the feed samples. Our study gives an overall insight into the amount of fungal secondary metabolites found in pig feed samples compared to their cytotoxic effects in vitro. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Blue Light on the Production of Citrinin in Monascus purpureus M9 by Regulating the mraox Gene through lncRNA AOANCR
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090536 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Blue light, as an important environmental factor, can regulate the production of various secondary metabolites of Monascus purpureus M9, including mycotoxin-citrinin, pigments, and monacolin K. The analysis of citrinin in Monascus M9 exposed to blue light for 0 min./d, 15 min./d, and 60 [...] Read more.
Blue light, as an important environmental factor, can regulate the production of various secondary metabolites of Monascus purpureus M9, including mycotoxin-citrinin, pigments, and monacolin K. The analysis of citrinin in Monascus M9 exposed to blue light for 0 min./d, 15 min./d, and 60 min./d showed that 15 min./d of blue light illumination could significantly increase citrinin production, while 60 min./d of blue light illumination decreased citrinin production. Analysis of long non-coding RNA (LncRNA) was performed on the transcripts of Monascus M9 under three culture conditions, and this analysis identified an lncRNA named AOANCR that can negatively regulate the mraox gene. Fermentation studies suggested that alternate respiratory pathways could be among the pathways that are involved in the regulation of the synthesis of citrinin by environmental factors. Aminophylline and citric acid were added to the culture medium to simulate the process of generating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in cells under illumination conditions. The results of the fermentation showed that aminophylline and citric acid could increase the expression of the mraox gene, decrease the expression of lncRNA AOANCR, and reduce the yield of citrinin. This result also indicates a reverse regulation relationship between lncRNA AOANCR and the mraox gene. A blue light signal might regulate the mraox gene at least partially through lncRNA AOANCR, thereby regulating citrinin production. Citrinin has severe nephrotoxicity in mammals, and it is important to control the residual amout of citrinin in red yeast products during fermentation. LncRNA AOANCR and mraox can potentially be used as new targets for the control of citrinin production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Characterization of Equine Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Exhibiting Reduced Oxacillin Susceptibility
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090535 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
The detection of borderline oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (BORSA) represents a challenge to both, veterinary and human laboratories. Between 2015 and 2017, 19 equine S. aureus with elevated minimal inhibitory concentrations for oxacillin were detected in routine diagnostics. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
The detection of borderline oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (BORSA) represents a challenge to both, veterinary and human laboratories. Between 2015 and 2017, 19 equine S. aureus with elevated minimal inhibitory concentrations for oxacillin were detected in routine diagnostics. The aim of this study was to characterize these isolates to identify factors possibly associated with the BORSA phenotype. All S. aureus were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing and whole genome sequencing (WGS). A quantifiable β-lactamase activity assay was performed for a representative subset of 13 isolates. The WGS data analysis of the 19 BORSA isolates identified two different genomic lineages, sequence type (ST) 1 and ST1660. The core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) revealed a close relatedness of all isolates belonging to either ST1 or ST1660. The WGS analysis identified the resistance genes aadD, dfrG, tet(L), and/or blaZ and aacA-aphD. Phenotypic resistance to penicillins, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim was observed in the respective isolates. For the penicillin-binding proteins 1–4, amino acid substitutions were predicted using WGS data. Since neither transglycosylase nor transpeptidase domains were affected, these alterations might not explain the BORSA phenotype. Moreover, β-lactamase activity was found to be associated with an inducible blaZ gene. Lineage-specific differences regarding the expression profiles were noted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Lipopolysaccharide Chemotype of Salmonella Enterica Serovar Typhimurium on Virulence in Gnotobiotic Piglets
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090534 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Salmonella Typhimurium is an enteric pathogen that causes acute and chronic infections in humans and animals. One-week-old germ-free piglets were orally colonized/infected with the Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 strain or its isogenic rough ΔrfaL, ΔrfaG or ΔrfaC mutants with exactly [...] Read more.
Salmonella Typhimurium is an enteric pathogen that causes acute and chronic infections in humans and animals. One-week-old germ-free piglets were orally colonized/infected with the Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 strain or its isogenic rough ΔrfaL, ΔrfaG or ΔrfaC mutants with exactly defined lipopolysaccharide (LPS) defects. After 24 h, the piglets were euthanized and the colonization of the small intestine, translocations into the mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, lungs, and bacteremia, along with changes in the ileum histology, and transcription levels of the tight junction proteins claudin-1, claudin-2, and occludin were all assessed. Additionally, transcription levels of IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-10 in the terminal ileum, and their local and systemic protein levels were evaluated. Wild-type Salmonella Typhimurium showed the highest translocation, histopathological changes, upregulation of claudins and downregulation of occludin, transcription of the cytokines, intestinal IL-8 and TNF-α levels, and systemic TNF-α and IL-10 levels. Depending on the extent of the incompleteness of the LPS, the levels of the respective elements decreased, or no changes were observed at all in the piglets colonized/infected with Δrfa mutants. Intestinal IL-10 and systemic IL-8 levels were not detected in any piglet groups. This study provided foundational data on the gnotobiotic piglet response to colonization/infection with the exactly defined rough Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 isogenic mutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessReview
Rationally Designed Synthetic Haptens to Generate Anti-Ciguatoxin Monoclonal Antibodies, and Development of a Practical Sandwich ELISA to Detect Ciguatoxins
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090533 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
“Ciguatera” fish poisoning (CFP) is one of the well-known food poisoning caused by the ingestion of fish that have accumulated trace amounts of ciguatoxins (CTXs). CFP affects more than 50,000 individuals annually. The difficulty in preventing CFP comes from the lack of reliable [...] Read more.
“Ciguatera” fish poisoning (CFP) is one of the well-known food poisoning caused by the ingestion of fish that have accumulated trace amounts of ciguatoxins (CTXs). CFP affects more than 50,000 individuals annually. The difficulty in preventing CFP comes from the lack of reliable methods for analysis of CTXs in contaminated fish, together with the normal appearance, taste, and smell of CTX-contaminated fish. Thus, a sensitive, accurate, routine, and portable analytical method to detect CTXs is urgently required. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific against either wing of major CTX congeners (CTX1B, 54-deoxyCTX1B, CTX3C, and 51-hydroxyCTX3C) were generated by immunizing mice with rationally designed synthetic haptens-KLH conjugates instead of the CTXs. Haptenic groups with a surface area greater than 400 Å2 are required to produce mAbs that can strongly bind to CTXs. Furthermore, a highly sensitive fluorescence-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed. This protocol can detect and quantify four major CTX congeners (CTX1B, 54-deoxyCTX1B, CTX3C, and 51-hydroxyCTX3C) with a limit of detection (LOD) of less than 1 pg/mL. The LOD determined for this sandwich ELISA is sufficient to detect CTX1B-contaminated fish at the FDA guidance level of 0.01 ppb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins Detection)
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Open AccessArticle
Aflatoxin B1 Conversion by Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larval Enzyme Extracts
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090532 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
The larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L., BSFL) have received increased industrial interest as a novel protein source for food and feed. Previous research has found that insects, including BSFL, are capable of metabolically converting aflatoxin B1 (AFB [...] Read more.
The larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L., BSFL) have received increased industrial interest as a novel protein source for food and feed. Previous research has found that insects, including BSFL, are capable of metabolically converting aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), but recovery of total AFB1 is less than 20% when accounting for its conversion to most known metabolites. The aim of this study was to examine the conversion of AFB1 by S9 extracts of BSFL reared on substrates with or without AFB1. Liver S9 of Aroclor-induced rats was used as a reference. To investigate whether cytochrome P450 enzymes are involved in the conversion of AFB1, the inhibitor piperonyl butoxide (PBO) was tested in a number of treatments. The results showed that approximately 60% of AFB1 was converted to aflatoxicol and aflatoxin P1. The remaining 40% of AFB1 was not converted. Cytochrome P450s were indeed responsible for metabolic conversion of AFB1 into AFP1, and a cytoplasmic reductase was most likely responsible for conversion of AFB1 into aflatoxicol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry for the Quantitative Analysis of Mycotoxins in Complex Feed Matrices
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090531 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
The selective and sensitive analysis of mycotoxins in highly complex feed matrices is a great challenge. In this study, the suitability of OrbitrapTM-based high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for routine mycotoxin analysis in complex feeds was demonstrated by the successful validation of [...] Read more.
The selective and sensitive analysis of mycotoxins in highly complex feed matrices is a great challenge. In this study, the suitability of OrbitrapTM-based high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for routine mycotoxin analysis in complex feeds was demonstrated by the successful validation of a full MS/data-dependent MS/MS acquisition method for the quantitative determination of eight Fusarium mycotoxins in forage maize and maize silage according to the Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. The required resolving power for accurate mass assignments (<5 ppm) was determined as 35,000 full width at half maximum (FWHM) and 70,000 FWHM for forage maize and maize silage, respectively. The recovery (RA), intra-day precision (RSDr), and inter-day precision (RSDR) of measurements were in the range of 94 to 108%, 2 to 16%, and 2 to 12%, whereas the decision limit (CCα) and the detection capability (CCβ) varied from 11 to 88 µg/kg and 20 to 141 µg/kg, respectively. A set of naturally contaminated forage maize and maize silage samples collected in northern Germany in 2017 was analyzed to confirm the applicability of the HRMS method to real samples. At least four Fusarium mycotoxins were quantified in each sample, highlighting the frequent co-occurrence of mycotoxins in feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods for Mycotoxins Detection)
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Open AccessReview
The Diversity of Cyanobacterial Toxins on Structural Characterization, Distribution and Identification: A Systematic Review
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090530 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
The widespread distribution of cyanobacteria in the aquatic environment is increasing the risk of water pollution caused by cyanotoxins, which poses a serious threat to human health. However, the structural characterization, distribution and identification techniques of cyanotoxins have not been comprehensively reviewed in [...] Read more.
The widespread distribution of cyanobacteria in the aquatic environment is increasing the risk of water pollution caused by cyanotoxins, which poses a serious threat to human health. However, the structural characterization, distribution and identification techniques of cyanotoxins have not been comprehensively reviewed in previous studies. This paper aims to elaborate the existing information systematically on the diversity of cyanotoxins to identify valuable research avenues. According to the chemical structure, cyanotoxins are mainly classified into cyclic peptides, alkaloids, lipopeptides, nonprotein amino acids and lipoglycans. In terms of global distribution, the amount of cyanotoxins are unbalanced in different areas. The diversity of cyanotoxins is more obviously found in many developed countries than that in undeveloped countries. Moreover, the threat of cyanotoxins has promoted the development of identification and detection technology. Many emerging methods have been developed to detect cyanotoxins in the environment. This communication provides a comprehensive review of the diversity of cyanotoxins, and the detection and identification technology was discussed. This detailed information will be a valuable resource for identifying the various types of cyanotoxins which threaten the environment of different areas. The ability to accurately identify specific cyanotoxins is an obvious and essential aspect of cyanobacterial research. Full article
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Open AccessReview
New Insights into the Roles of Monocytes/Macrophages in Cardiovascular Calcification Associated with Chronic Kidney Disease
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090529 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and cardiovascular calcification (CVC) is one of the strongest predictors of CVD in this population. Cardiovascular calcification results from complex cellular interactions involving the endothelium, vascular/valvular cells [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and cardiovascular calcification (CVC) is one of the strongest predictors of CVD in this population. Cardiovascular calcification results from complex cellular interactions involving the endothelium, vascular/valvular cells (i.e., vascular smooth muscle cells, valvular interstitial cells and resident fibroblasts), and monocyte-derived macrophages. Indeed, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress by monocyte-derived macrophages is responsible for the osteogenic transformation and mineralization of vascular/valvular cells. However, monocytes/macrophages show the ability to modify their phenotype, and consequently their functions, when facing environmental modifications. This plasticity complicates efforts to understand the pathogenesis of CVC—particularly in a CKD setting, where both uraemic toxins and CKD treatment may affect monocyte/macrophage functions and thereby influence CVC. Here, we review (i) the mechanisms by which each monocyte/macrophage subset either promotes or prevents CVC, and (ii) how both uraemic toxins and CKD therapies might affect these monocyte/macrophage functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chronic Kidney Disease - Mineral Bone Disorder (CKD-MBD))
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Open AccessReview
Antibodies and Vaccines against Botulinum Toxins: Available Measures and Novel Approaches
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090528 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1331
Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced by the anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium botulinum. As one of the most poisonous toxins known and a potential bioterrosism agent, BoNT is characterized by a complex mode of action comprising: internalization, translocation and proteolytic cleavage of a [...] Read more.
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced by the anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium botulinum. As one of the most poisonous toxins known and a potential bioterrosism agent, BoNT is characterized by a complex mode of action comprising: internalization, translocation and proteolytic cleavage of a substrate, which inhibits synaptic exocytotic transmitter release at neuro-muscular nerve endings leading to peripheral neuroparalysis of the skeletal and autonomic nervous systems. There are seven major serologically distinct toxinotypes (A–G) of BoNT which act on different substrates. Human botulism is generally caused by BoNT/A, B and E. Due to its extreme lethality and potential use as biological weapon, botulism remains a global public health concern. Vaccination against BoNT, although an effective strategy, remains undesirable due to the growing expectation around therapeutic use of BoNTs in various pathological conditions. This review focuses on the current approaches for botulism control by immunotherapy, highlighting the future challenges while the molecular underpinnings among subtypes variants and BoNT sequences found in non-clostridial species remain to be elucidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Quantitative Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin)
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Open AccessArticle
Naja atra Cardiotoxin 3 Elicits Autophagy and Apoptosis in U937 Human Leukemia Cells through the Ca2+/PP2A/AMPK Axis
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090527 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
Cardiotoxins (CTXs) are suggested to exert their cytotoxicity through cell membrane damage. Other studies show that penetration of CTXs into cells elicits mitochondrial fragmentation or lysosome disruption, leading to cell death. Considering the role of AMPK-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in mitochondrial biogenesis and [...] Read more.
Cardiotoxins (CTXs) are suggested to exert their cytotoxicity through cell membrane damage. Other studies show that penetration of CTXs into cells elicits mitochondrial fragmentation or lysosome disruption, leading to cell death. Considering the role of AMPK-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in mitochondrial biogenesis and lysosomal biogenesis, we aimed to investigate whether the AMPK-mediated pathway modulated Naja atra (Taiwan cobra) CTX3 cytotoxicity in U937 human leukemia cells. Our results showed that CTX3 induced autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells, whereas autophagic inhibitors suppressed CTX3-induced apoptosis. CTX3 treatment elicited Ca2+-dependent degradation of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit (PP2Acα) and phosphorylation of AMPKα. Overexpression of PP2Acα mitigated the CTX3-induced AMPKα phosphorylation. CTX3-induced autophagy was via AMPK-mediated suppression of the Akt/mTOR pathway. Removal of Ca2+ or suppression of AMPKα phosphorylation inhibited the CTX3-induced cell death. CTX3 was unable to induce autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells expressing constitutively active Akt. Met-modified CTX3 retained its membrane-perturbing activity, however, it did not induce AMPK activation and death of U937 cells. These results conclusively indicate that CTX3 induces autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells via the Ca2+/PP2A/AMPK axis, and suggest that the membrane-perturbing activity of CTX3 is not crucial for the cell death signaling pathway induction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle
Structures of Reaction Products and Degradation Pathways of Aflatoxin B1 by Ultrasound Treatment
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090526 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Ultrasound is an emerging decontamination technology with potential use in the global food processing industry. In the present study, we explored power ultrasound for processing aqueous aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). AFB1 was degraded by 85.1% after 80 min of ultrasound [...] Read more.
Ultrasound is an emerging decontamination technology with potential use in the global food processing industry. In the present study, we explored power ultrasound for processing aqueous aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). AFB1 was degraded by 85.1% after 80 min of ultrasound exposure. The reaction products of AFB1 were identified and their molecular formulae elucidated by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography Q-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Eight main reaction products were found, and their structures were clarified by parental ion fragmentation. Two degradation pathways were proposed according to the degradation product structures: One involved the addition of H• and OH• radicals, whereas the other involved H2O2 epoxidation and H•, OH•, and H2O2 oxidation of AFB1. Ultrasound treatment significantly reduced AFB1 bioactivity and toxicity by disrupting the C8=C9 double bond in the furan ring and modifying the lactone ring and methoxy group. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Vaccine Production to Protect Animals Against Pathogenic Clostridia
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090525 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
Clostridium is a broad genus of anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacteria that can be found in different environments all around the world. The genus includes human and animal pathogens that produce potent exotoxins that cause rapid and potentially fatal diseases responsible for countless [...] Read more.
Clostridium is a broad genus of anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacteria that can be found in different environments all around the world. The genus includes human and animal pathogens that produce potent exotoxins that cause rapid and potentially fatal diseases responsible for countless human casualties and billion-dollar annual loss to the agricultural sector. Diseases include botulism, tetanus, enterotoxemia, gas gangrene, necrotic enteritis, pseudomembranous colitis, blackleg, and black disease, which are caused by pathogenic Clostridium. Due to their ability to sporulate, they cannot be eradicated from the environment. As such, immunization with toxoid or bacterin-toxoid vaccines is the only protective method against infection. Toxins recovered from Clostridium cultures are inactivated to form toxoids, which are then formulated into multivalent vaccines. This review discusses the toxins, diseases, and toxoid production processes of the most common pathogenic Clostridium species, including Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium tetani, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium chauvoei, Clostridium septicum, Clostridium novyi and Clostridium hemolyticum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Quantitative Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin)
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Open AccessArticle
Lebetin 2, a Snake Venom-Derived B-Type Natriuretic Peptide, Provides Immediate and Prolonged Protection against Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury via Modulation of Post-Ischemic Inflammatory Response
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090524 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Myocardial infarction (MI) followed by left ventricular (LV) remodeling is the most frequent cause of heart failure. Lebetin 2 (L2), a snake venom-derived natriuretic peptide, exerts cardioprotection during acute myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) ex vivo. However, its effects on delayed consequences of IR injury, [...] Read more.
Myocardial infarction (MI) followed by left ventricular (LV) remodeling is the most frequent cause of heart failure. Lebetin 2 (L2), a snake venom-derived natriuretic peptide, exerts cardioprotection during acute myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) ex vivo. However, its effects on delayed consequences of IR injury, including post-MI inflammation and fibrosis have not been defined. Here, we determined whether a single L2 injection exerts cardioprotection in IR murine models in vivo, and whether inflammatory response to ischemic injury plays a role in L2-induced effects. We quantified infarct size (IS), fibrosis, inflammation, and both endothelial cell and cardiomyocyte densities in injured myocardium and compared these values with those induced by B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). Both L2 and BNP reduced IS, fibrosis, and inflammatory response after IR, as evidenced by decreased leukocyte and proinflammatory M1 macrophage infiltrations in the infarcted area compared to untreated animals. However, only L2 increased anti-inflammatory M2-like macrophages. L2 also induced a higher density of endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Our data show that L2 has strong, acute, prolonged cardioprotective effects in post-MI that are mediated, at least in part, by the modulation of the post-ischemic inflammatory response and especially, by the enhancement of M2-like macrophages, thus reducing IR-induced necrotic and fibrotic effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detoxification of the Fumonisin Mycotoxins in Maize: An Enzymatic Approach
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090523 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Enzymatic detoxification has become a promising approach for control of mycotoxins postharvest in grains through modification of chemical structures determining their toxicity. In the present study fumonisin esterase FumD (EC 3.1.1.87) (FUMzyme®; BIOMIN, Tulln, Austria), hydrolysing fumonisin (FB) mycotoxins by [...] Read more.
Enzymatic detoxification has become a promising approach for control of mycotoxins postharvest in grains through modification of chemical structures determining their toxicity. In the present study fumonisin esterase FumD (EC 3.1.1.87) (FUMzyme®; BIOMIN, Tulln, Austria), hydrolysing fumonisin (FB) mycotoxins by de-esterification, was utilised to develop an enzymatic reduction method in a maize kernel enzyme incubation mixture. Efficacy of the FumD FB reduction method in “low” and “high” FB contaminated home-grown maize was compared by monitoring FB1 hydrolysis to the hydrolysed FB1 (HFB1) product utilising a validated LC-MS/MS analytical method. The method was further evaluated in terms of enzyme activity and treatment duration by assessing enzyme kinetic parameters and the relative distribution of HFB1 between maize kernels and the residual aqueous environment. FumD treatments resulted in significant reduction (≥80%) in “low” (≥1000 U/L, p < 0.05) and “high” (100 U/L, p < 0.05; ≥1000 U/L, p < 0.0001) FB contaminated maize after 1 h respectively, with an approximate 1:1 µmol conversion ratio of FB1 into the formation of HFB1. Enzyme kinetic parameters indicated that, depending on the activity of FumD utilised, a significantly (p < 0.05) higher FB1 conversion rate was noticed in “high” FB contaminated maize. The FumD FB reduction method in maize could find application in commercial maize-based practices as well as in communities utilising home-grown maize as a main dietary staple and known to be exposed above the tolerable daily intake levels. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Modifying Phosphate Toxicity in Chronic Kidney Disease
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090522 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Phosphate toxicity is a well-established phenomenon, especially in chronic kidney disease (CKD), where hyperphosphatemia is a frequent occurrence when CKD is advanced. Many therapeutic efforts are targeted at phosphate, and comprise dietary intervention, modifying dialysis schemes, treating uncontrolled hyperparathyroidism and importantly, phosphate binder [...] Read more.
Phosphate toxicity is a well-established phenomenon, especially in chronic kidney disease (CKD), where hyperphosphatemia is a frequent occurrence when CKD is advanced. Many therapeutic efforts are targeted at phosphate, and comprise dietary intervention, modifying dialysis schemes, treating uncontrolled hyperparathyroidism and importantly, phosphate binder therapy. Despite all these interventions, hyperphosphatemia persists in many, and its pathological influence is ongoing. In nephrological care, a somewhat neglected aspect of treatment—when attempts fail to lower exposure to a toxin like phosphate—is to explore the possibility of “anti-dotes”. Indeed, quite a long list of factors modify, or are mediators of phosphate toxicity. Addressing these, especially when phosphate itself cannot be sufficiently controlled, may provide additional protection. In this narrative overview, several factors are discussed that may qualify as either such a modifier or mediator, that can be influenced by other means than simply lowering phosphate exposure. A wider scope when targeting phosphate-induced comorbidity in CKD, in particular cardiovascular disease, may alleviate the burden of disease that is the consequence of this potentially toxic mineral in CKD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chronic Kidney Disease - Mineral Bone Disorder (CKD-MBD))
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Open AccessArticle
First Report of Microcystis Strains Producing MC-FR and -WR Toxins in Japan
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090521 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Microcystins (MCs) are a group of cyclic heptapeptide hepatotoxins produced by Microcystis and several other genera of cyanobacteria. Many structural variants have been characterized using various methods such as liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) [...] Read more.
Microcystins (MCs) are a group of cyclic heptapeptide hepatotoxins produced by Microcystis and several other genera of cyanobacteria. Many structural variants have been characterized using various methods such as liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibition assay. The representative MC, MC-LR, and related cyanobacterial toxins strongly inhibit PP2A activity and can therefore be assayed by measuring the extent of PP2A inhibition. However, these methods require reference toxin standards for the quantification and identification of known MCs. To obtain various MC-producing cyanobacterial strains, we surveyed and collected MC-producing cyanobacteria from environmental sources of water in Okinawa, Japan. Using a dual assay (LC-MS analysis and PP2A inhibition assay), we identified and isolated Microcystis strains producing five MC variants (MC-LR, -RR, -LA, -FR and -WR). Approximately 4 mg of MC-WR and -FR toxins were purified from the laboratory culture of the Microcystis isolate NIES-4344. Pure MC-WR and -FR variants were prepared for future use as toxin standards in LC-MS analysis. Phylogenetic analysis based on ftsZ revealed that the NIES-4344 strain belongs to the identified groups in Microcystis aeruginosa. This is the first report of Microcystis strains producing mainly MC-WR and -FR toxins in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins Detection)
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Open AccessArticle
The Histone Deacetylases HosA and HdaA Affect the Phenotype and Transcriptomic and Metabolic Profiles of Aspergillus niger
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090520 - 07 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Histone acetylation is an important modification for the regulation of chromatin accessibility and is controlled by two kinds of histone-modifying enzymes: histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). In filamentous fungi, there is increasing evidence that HATs and HDACs are critical factors related [...] Read more.
Histone acetylation is an important modification for the regulation of chromatin accessibility and is controlled by two kinds of histone-modifying enzymes: histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). In filamentous fungi, there is increasing evidence that HATs and HDACs are critical factors related to mycelial growth, stress response, pathogenicity and production of secondary metabolites (SMs). In this study, seven A. niger histone deacetylase-deficient strains were constructed to investigate their effects on the strain growth phenotype as well as the transcriptomic and metabolic profiles of secondary metabolic pathways. Phenotypic analysis showed that deletion of hosA in A. niger FGSC A1279 leads to a significant reduction in growth, pigment production, sporulation and stress resistance, and deletion of hdaA leads to an increase in pigment production in liquid CD medium. According to the metabolomic analysis, the production of the well-known secondary metabolite fumonisin was reduced in both the hosA and hdaA mutants, and the production of kojic acid was reduced in the hdaA mutant and slightly increased in the hosA mutant. Results suggested that the histone deacetylases HosA and HdaA play a role in development and SM biosynthesis in A. niger FGSC A1279. Histone deacetylases offer new strategies for regulation of SM synthesis. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Development of an UPLC-MS/MS Method for the Analysis of Mycotoxins in Rumen Fluid with and without Maize Silage Emphasizes the Importance of Using Matrix-Matched Calibration
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090519 - 07 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
Ruminants are less susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins than monogastric animals as their rumen microbiota are claimed to degrade and/or deactivate at least some of these toxic compounds. However, the mycotoxin degradation is not well-known yet. For this, a sensitive, specific, and [...] Read more.
Ruminants are less susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins than monogastric animals as their rumen microbiota are claimed to degrade and/or deactivate at least some of these toxic compounds. However, the mycotoxin degradation is not well-known yet. For this, a sensitive, specific, and accurate analytical method is needed to determine mycotoxins in the rumen fluid. This study aims to develop and thoroughly validate an ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantitative determination in the rumen fluid of some of the most relevant mycotoxins found in maize silage in Western Europe: deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), zearalenone (ZEN), mycophenolic acid (MPA), roquefortine C (ROQ-C) and enniatin B (ENN B), as well as their metabolites deepoxy-deoxynivalenol (DOM-1), α-zearalenol (α-ZEL), β-zearalenol (β-ZEL), zearalanone (ZAN), α-zearalanol (α-ZAL) and β-zearalanol (β-ZAL). As feed is often present in the rumen fluid samples, the potential interaction of feed particles with the mycotoxin extraction and analysis was investigated. Extraction recovery and matrix effects were determined in the rumen fluid with and without maize silage. Differences in those parameters between rumen fluid alone and rumen fluid with maize silage highlight the importance of using matrix-matched calibration curves for the quantification of mycotoxins in rumen fluid samples. A cross-validation of the method with rumen fluid and maize silage demonstrates that this analytical method can be applied in research on rumen fluid samples to investigate the degradation of the reported mycotoxins by rumen microbiota if matrix-matched calibration is performed. Full article
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