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Toxins, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2015) , Pages 638-1004

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Open AccessArticle
Further Evidence for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreaks Caused by egc-Encoded Enterotoxins
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 997-1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030997
Received: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3062 | PDF Full-text (391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Staphylococcal food poisoning represents the most prevalent foodborne intoxication worldwide. It is caused by oral intake of enterotoxins preformed by Staphylococcus aureus in food. The relevance of newly described enterotoxins in outbreaks of staphylococcal food poisoning is controversially discussed. Although the staphylococcal enterotoxins [...] Read more.
Staphylococcal food poisoning represents the most prevalent foodborne intoxication worldwide. It is caused by oral intake of enterotoxins preformed by Staphylococcus aureus in food. The relevance of newly described enterotoxins in outbreaks of staphylococcal food poisoning is controversially discussed. Although the staphylococcal enterotoxins SEG, SEI, SEM, SEN, and SEO elicit emesis in a monkey feeding assay, there has been no conclusive proof of their emetic activity in humans. In this study, we provide further evidence suggesting that one of these enterotoxins or a combination of SEG, SEI, SEM, SEN, and SEO cause staphylococcal food poisoning. We investigated two outbreaks registered with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, in which only Staphylococcus aureus strains harboring the egc cluster, including seg, sei, sem, sen, and seo linked to typical signs of staphylococcal food poisoning were isolated. The outbreaks were caused by consumption of raw goat cheese and semi-hard goat cheese, and were linked to strains assigned to CC45 (agr type I) and CC9 (agr type II), respectively. These outbreaks provide further evidence that newly-described staphylococcal enterotoxins are likely to cause staphylococcal food poisoning in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
Open AccessReview
Cholera Toxin B: One Subunit with Many Pharmaceutical Applications
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 974-996; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030974
Received: 5 February 2015 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 4051 | PDF Full-text (663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cholera, a waterborne acute diarrheal disease caused by Vibrio cholerae, remains prevalent in underdeveloped countries and is a serious health threat to those living in unsanitary conditions. The major virulence factor is cholera toxin (CT), which consists of two subunits: the A [...] Read more.
Cholera, a waterborne acute diarrheal disease caused by Vibrio cholerae, remains prevalent in underdeveloped countries and is a serious health threat to those living in unsanitary conditions. The major virulence factor is cholera toxin (CT), which consists of two subunits: the A subunit (CTA) and the B subunit (CTB). CTB is a 55 kD homopentameric, non-toxic protein binding to the GM1 ganglioside on mammalian cells with high affinity. Currently, recombinantly produced CTB is used as a component of an internationally licensed oral cholera vaccine, as the protein induces potent humoral immunity that can neutralize CT in the gut. Additionally, recent studies have revealed that CTB administration leads to the induction of anti-inflammatory mechanisms in vivo. This review will cover the potential of CTB as an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory agent. We will also summarize various recombinant expression systems available for recombinant CTB bioproduction. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Toxins Best Paper Award 2015
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 971-973; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030971
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
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Abstract
In order to recognize outstanding papers related to biotoxins and toxinology that have been published in Toxins, the Editorial Board established an annual “Toxins Best Paper Award”. We are pleased to announce the first “Toxins Best Paper Award” for 2015. [...] Read more.
In order to recognize outstanding papers related to biotoxins and toxinology that have been published in Toxins, the Editorial Board established an annual “Toxins Best Paper Award”. We are pleased to announce the first “Toxins Best Paper Award” for 2015. Nominations were selected by the Editorial Board members, with all papers published in 2011 eligible for consideration. Reviews and original research articles were evaluated separately. Following review and voting by the Toxins Best Paper Award Committee, the following three papers have won Toxins Best Paper Awards for 2015:[...] Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review on Bradykinin-Related Peptides Isolated from Amphibian Skin Secretion
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 951-970; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030951
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2532 | PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amphibian skin secretion has great potential for drug discovery and contributes hundreds of bioactive peptides including bradykinin-related peptides (BRPs). More than 50 BRPs have been reported in the last two decades arising from the skin secretion of amphibian species. They belong to the [...] Read more.
Amphibian skin secretion has great potential for drug discovery and contributes hundreds of bioactive peptides including bradykinin-related peptides (BRPs). More than 50 BRPs have been reported in the last two decades arising from the skin secretion of amphibian species. They belong to the families Ascaphidae (1 species), Bombinatoridae (3 species), Hylidae (9 speices) and Ranidae (25 species). This paper presents the diversity of structural characteristics of BRPs with N-terminal, C-terminal extension and amino acid substitution. The further comparison of cDNA-encoded prepropeptides between the different species and families demonstrated that there are various forms of kininogen precursors to release BRPs and they constitute important evidence in amphibian evolution. The pharmacological activities of isolated BRPs exhibited unclear structure–function relationships, and therefore the scope for drug discovery and development is limited. However, their diversity shows new insights into biotechnological applications and, as a result, comprehensive and systematic studies of the physiological and pharmacological activities of BRPs from amphibian skin secretion are needed in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle
Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 936-950; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030936
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4863 | PDF Full-text (1718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cnidarian venom research has lagged behind other toxinological fields due to technical difficulties in recovery of the complex venom from the microscopic nematocysts. Here we report a newly developed rapid, repeatable and cost effective technique of venom preparation, using ethanol to induce nematocyst [...] Read more.
Cnidarian venom research has lagged behind other toxinological fields due to technical difficulties in recovery of the complex venom from the microscopic nematocysts. Here we report a newly developed rapid, repeatable and cost effective technique of venom preparation, using ethanol to induce nematocyst discharge and to recover venom contents in one step. Our model species was the Australian box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which has a notable impact on public health. By utilizing scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, we examined nematocyst external morphology before and after ethanol treatment and verified nematocyst discharge. Further, to investigate nematocyst content or “venom” recovery, we utilized both top-down and bottom-up transcriptomics–proteomics approaches and compared the proteome profile of this new ethanol recovery based method to a previously reported high activity and recovery protocol, based upon density purified intact cnidae and pressure induced disruption. In addition to recovering previously characterized box jellyfish toxins, including CfTX-A/B and CfTX-1, we recovered putative metalloproteases and novel expression of a small serine protease inhibitor. This study not only reveals a much more complex toxin profile of Australian box jellyfish venom but also suggests that ethanol extraction method could augment future cnidarian venom proteomics research efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 5th Venoms to Drugs Meeting)
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Open AccessArticle
A Mutational Analysis of Residues in Cholera Toxin A1 Necessary for Interaction with Its Substrate, the Stimulatory G Protein Gsα
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 919-935; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030919
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 27 February 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2419 | PDF Full-text (2099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pathogenesis of cholera diarrhea requires cholera toxin (CT)-mediated adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation of stimulatory G protein (Gsα) in enterocytes. CT is an AB5 toxin with an inactive CTA1 domain linked via CTA2 to a pentameric receptor-binding B subunit. Allosterically activated CTA1 fragment in complex [...] Read more.
Pathogenesis of cholera diarrhea requires cholera toxin (CT)-mediated adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation of stimulatory G protein (Gsα) in enterocytes. CT is an AB5 toxin with an inactive CTA1 domain linked via CTA2 to a pentameric receptor-binding B subunit. Allosterically activated CTA1 fragment in complex with NAD+ and GTP-bound ADP-ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6-GTP) differs conformationally from the CTA1 domain in holotoxin. A surface-exposed knob and a short α-helix (formed, respectively, by rearranging “active-site” and “activation” loops in inactive CTA1) and an ADP ribosylating turn-turn (ARTT) motif, all located near the CTA1 catalytic site, were evaluated for possible roles in recognizing Gsα. CT variants with one, two or three alanine substitutions at surface-exposed residues within these CTA1 motifs were tested for assembly into holotoxin and ADP-ribosylating activity against Gsα and diethylamino-(benzylidineamino)-guanidine (DEABAG), a small substrate predicted to fit into the CTA1 active site). Variants with single alanine substitutions at H55, R67, L71, S78, or D109 had nearly wild-type activity with DEABAG but significantly decreased activity with Gsα, suggesting that the corresponding residues in native CTA1 participate in recognizing Gsα. As several variants with multiple substitutions at these positions retained partial activity against Gsα, other residues in CTA1 likely also participate in recognizing Gsα. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Cell Biology of Toxins and Effector Proteins from Vibrio cholerae)
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Open AccessArticle
The Importance of Lake Sediments as a Pathway for Microcystin Dynamics in Shallow Eutrophic Lakes
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 900-918; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030900
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 5 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3112 | PDF Full-text (1213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria. They occur in aquatic systems across the world and their occurrence is expected to increase in frequency and magnitude. As microcystins are hazardous to humans and animals, it is essential to understand their fate in aquatic systems [...] Read more.
Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria. They occur in aquatic systems across the world and their occurrence is expected to increase in frequency and magnitude. As microcystins are hazardous to humans and animals, it is essential to understand their fate in aquatic systems in order to control health risks. While the occurrence of microcystins in sediments has been widely reported, the factors influencing their occurrence, variability, and spatial distribution are not yet well understood. Especially in shallow lakes, which often develop large cyanobacterial blooms, the spatial variability of toxins in the sediments is a complex interplay between the spatial distribution of toxin producing cyanobacteria, local biological, physical and chemical processes, and the re-distribution of toxins in sediments through wind mixing. In this study, microcystin occurrence in lake sediment, and their relationship with biological and physicochemical variables were investigated in a shallow, eutrophic lake over five months. We found no significant difference in cyanobacterial biomass, temperature, pH, and salinity between the surface water and the water directly overlying the sediment (hereafter ‘overlying water’), indicating that the water column was well mixed. Microcystins were detected in all sediment samples, with concentrations ranging from 0.06 to 0.78 µg equivalent microcystin-LR/g sediments (dry mass). Microcystin concentration and cyanobacterial biomass in the sediment was different between sites in three out of five months, indicating that the spatial distribution was a complex interaction between local and mixing processes. A combination of total microcystins in the water, depth integrated cyanobacterial biomass in the water, cyanobacterial biomass in the sediment, and pH explained only 21.1% of the spatial variability of microcystins in the sediments. A more in-depth analysis that included variables representative of processes on smaller vertical or local scales, such as cyanobacterial biomass in the different layers and the two fractions of microcystins, increased the explained variability to 51.7%. This highlights that even in a well-mixed lake, local processes are important drivers of toxin variability. The present study emphasises the role of the interaction between water and sediments in the distribution of microcystins in aquatic systems as an important pathway which deserves further consideration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Preliminary Characterization of Proteinaceous Toxins with Insecticidal and Antibacterial Activities from Black Widow Spider (L. tredecimguttatus) Eggs
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 886-899; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030886
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 16 March 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2047 | PDF Full-text (571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The eggs of black widow spider (L. tredecimguttatus) have been demonstrated to be rich in toxic proteinaceous components. The study on such active components is of theoretical and practical importance. In the present work, using a combination of multiple biochemical and [...] Read more.
The eggs of black widow spider (L. tredecimguttatus) have been demonstrated to be rich in toxic proteinaceous components. The study on such active components is of theoretical and practical importance. In the present work, using a combination of multiple biochemical and biological strategies, we isolated and characterized the proteinaceous components from the aqueous extract of the black widow spider eggs. After gel filtration of the egg extract, the resulting main protein and peptide peaks were further fractionated by ion exchange chromatography and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Two proteinaceous components, named latroeggtoxin-III and latroeggtoxin-IV, respectively, were purified to homogeneity. Latroeggtoxin-III was demonstrated to have a molecular weight of about 36 kDa. Activity analysis indicated that latroeggtoxin-III exhibited neurotoxicity against cockroaches but had no obvious effect on mice, suggesting that it is an insect-specific toxin. Latroeggtoxin-IV, with a molecular weight of 3.6 kDa, was shown to be a broad-spectrum antibacterial peptide, showing inhibitory activity against all five species of bacteria tested, with the highest activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Finally, the implications of the proteinaceous toxins in egg protection and their potential applications were analyzed and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessReview
Emergent Toxins in North Atlantic Temperate Waters: A Challenge for Monitoring Programs and Legislation
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 859-885; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030859
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 16 March 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2483 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as [...] Read more.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture on the Central Nervous System and Muscle in an Animal hSOD1G93A Mutant
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 846-858; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030846
Received: 26 November 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2801 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. However, there is no effective drug or therapy to treat ALS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture, pharmacopuncture, herbal medicine, [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. However, there is no effective drug or therapy to treat ALS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture, pharmacopuncture, herbal medicine, and massage is popular due to the significant limitations of conventional therapy. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), also known as one of pharmacopunctures, has been used in Oriental medicine to treat inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of BVA on the central nervous system (CNS) and muscle in symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice, an animal model of ALS. Our findings show that BVA at ST36 enhanced motor function and decreased motor neuron death in the spinal cord compared to that observed in hSOD1G93A transgenic mice injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with BV. Furthermore, BV treatment at ST36 eliminated signaling downstream of inflammatory proteins such as TLR4 in the spinal cords of symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. However, i.p. treatment with BV reduced the levels of TNF-α and Bcl-2 expression in the muscle hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that BV pharmacopuncture into certain acupoints may act as a chemical stimulant to activate those acupoints and subsequently engage the endogenous immune modulatory system in the CNS in an animal model of ALS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 835-845; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030835
Received: 24 December 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 11 March 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2606 | PDF Full-text (577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based [...] Read more.
Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Open AccessCommunication
The Effect of Cyanobacterial Biomass Enrichment by Centrifugation and GF/C Filtration on Subsequent Microcystin Measurement
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 821-834; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030821
Received: 28 December 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 10 March 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2420 | PDF Full-text (700 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microcystins are cyclic peptides produced by multiple cyanobacterial genera. After accumulation in the liver of animals they inhibit eukaryotic serine/threonine protein phosphatases, causing liver disease or death. Accurate detection/quantification of microcystins is essential to ensure safe water resources and to enable research on [...] Read more.
Microcystins are cyclic peptides produced by multiple cyanobacterial genera. After accumulation in the liver of animals they inhibit eukaryotic serine/threonine protein phosphatases, causing liver disease or death. Accurate detection/quantification of microcystins is essential to ensure safe water resources and to enable research on this toxin. Previous methodological comparisons have focused on detection and extraction techniques, but have not investigated the commonly used biomass enrichment steps. These enrichment steps could modulate toxin production as recent studies have demonstrated that high cyanobacterial cell densities cause increased microcystin levels. In this study, three microcystin-producing strains were processed using no cell enrichment steps (by direct freezing at three temperatures) and with biomass enrichment (by centrifugation or GF/C filtration). After extraction, microcystins were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. All processing methods tested, except GF/C filtration, resulted in comparable microcystin quotas for all strains. The low yields observed for the filtration samples were caused by adsorption of arginine-containing microcystins to the GF/C filters. Whilst biomass enrichment did not affect microcystin metabolism over the time-frame of normal sample processing, problems associated with GF/C filtration were identified. The most widely applicable processing method was direct freezing of samples as it could be utilized in both field and laboratory environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessCommunication
Detection of Ochratoxin a Using Molecular Beacons and Real-Time PCR Thermal Cycler
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 812-820; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030812
Received: 12 December 2014 / Revised: 26 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2602 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We developed a simple and cheap assay for quantitatively detecting ochratoxin A (OTA) in wine. A DNA aptamer available in literature was used as recognition probe in its molecular beacon form, i.e., with a fluorescence-quenching pair at the stem ends. Our aptabeacon [...] Read more.
We developed a simple and cheap assay for quantitatively detecting ochratoxin A (OTA) in wine. A DNA aptamer available in literature was used as recognition probe in its molecular beacon form, i.e., with a fluorescence-quenching pair at the stem ends. Our aptabeacon could adopt a conformation allowing OTA binding, causing a fluorescence rise due to the increased distance between fluorophore and quencher. We used real-time PCR equipment for capturing the signal. With this assay, under optimized conditions, the entire process can be completed within 1 h. In addition, the proposed system exhibited a good selectivity for OTA against other mycotoxins (ochratoxin B and aflatoxin M1) and limited interference from aflatoxin B1 and patulin. A wide linear detection range (0.2–2000 µM) was achieved, with LOD = 13 nM, r = 0.9952, and R2 = 0.9904. The aptabeacon was also applied to detect OTA in red wine spiked with the same dilution series. A linear correlation with a LOD = 19 nM, r = 0.9843, and R2 = 0.9708 was observed, with recoveries in the range 63%–105%. Intra- and inter-day assays confirmed its reproducibility. The proposed biosensor, although still being finalized, might significantly facilitate the quantitative detection of OTA in wine samples, thus improving their quality control from a food safety perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Ochratoxins-Collection)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Increasing Concentrations of Sodium Sulfite on Deoxynivalenol and Deoxynivalenol Sulfonate Concentrations of Maize Kernels and Maize Meal Preserved at Various Moisture Content
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 791-811; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030791
Received: 10 January 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2015 / Accepted: 28 February 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2229 | PDF Full-text (1588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under moderate climatic conditions, deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination occurs frequently on cereals. Detoxification measures are required to avoid adverse effects on farm animals. In the present study, a wet preservation method with sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) and propionic acid was tested [...] Read more.
Under moderate climatic conditions, deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination occurs frequently on cereals. Detoxification measures are required to avoid adverse effects on farm animals. In the present study, a wet preservation method with sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) and propionic acid was tested to titrate the optimum Na2SO3-dose for maximum DON reduction of contaminated maize kernels and meal and to examine the interaction between dose and moisture content in dependence on the preservation duration. The DON concentration decreased with increasing amounts of supplemented Na2SO3 and with increasing duration of the preservation period in a bi-exponential fashion. Additionally, the feed structure and moisture content had a significant influence on the decontaminating effect. Variants with 30% moisture content favored higher DON reduction rates compared to 14% moisture, but especially at low moisture contents, DON reduction was more pronounced in maize kernels than in maize meal. In addition to the decrease of DON, a concomitant formation of three different DON sulfonates was observed which differed in their formation pattern over the time course of preservation. The overall results and statistical analysis clarified that Na2SO3 addition of 10 g/kg maize at 30% moisture for eight days was necessary to obtain a complete DON reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detoxification of Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessReview
Ergot Alkaloids Produced by Endophytic Fungi of the Genus Epichloë
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 773-790; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030773
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 26 February 2015 / Accepted: 28 February 2015 / Published: 6 March 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2863 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of fungal endophytes of the genus Epichloë in grasses results in the production of different groups of alkaloids, whose mechanism and biological spectrum of toxicity can differ considerably. Ergot alkaloids, when present in endophyte-infected tall fescue, are responsible for “fescue toxicosis” [...] Read more.
The development of fungal endophytes of the genus Epichloë in grasses results in the production of different groups of alkaloids, whose mechanism and biological spectrum of toxicity can differ considerably. Ergot alkaloids, when present in endophyte-infected tall fescue, are responsible for “fescue toxicosis” in livestock, whereas indole-diterpene alkaloids, when present in endophyte-infected ryegrass, are responsible for “ryegrass staggers”. In contrast, peramine and loline alkaloids are deterrent and/or toxic to insects. Other toxic effects in livestock associated with the consumption of endophyte-infected grass that contain ergot alkaloids include the “sleepy grass” and “drunken horse grass” diseases. Although ergovaline is the main ergopeptine alkaloid produced in endophyte-infected tall fescue and is recognized as responsible for fescue toxicosis, a number of questions still exist concerning the profile of alkaloid production in tall fescue and the worldwide distribution of tall fescue toxicosis. The purpose of this review is to present ergot alkaloids produced in endophyte-infected grass, the factors of variation of their level in plants, and the diseases observed in the mammalian species as relate to the profiles of alkaloid production. In the final section, interactions between ergot alkaloids and drug-metabolizing enzymes are presented as mechanisms that could contribute to toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Open AccessReview
Pokeweed Antiviral Protein: Its Cytotoxicity Mechanism and Applications in Plant Disease Resistance
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 755-772; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030755
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 6 March 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2656 | PDF Full-text (1410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP) is a 29 kDa type I ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) found in pokeweed plants. Pokeweed produces different forms of PAP. This review focuses on the spring form of PAP isolated from Phytolacca americana leaves. PAP exerts its cytotoxicity by [...] Read more.
Pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP) is a 29 kDa type I ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) found in pokeweed plants. Pokeweed produces different forms of PAP. This review focuses on the spring form of PAP isolated from Phytolacca americana leaves. PAP exerts its cytotoxicity by removing a specific adenine from the α-sarcin/ricin loop of the large ribosomal RNA. Besides depurination of the rRNA, PAP has additional activities that contribute to its cytotoxicity. The mechanism of PAP cytotoxicity is summarized based on evidence from the analysis of transgenic plants and the yeast model system. PAP was initially found to be anti-viral when it was co-inoculated with plant viruses onto plants. Transgenic plants expressing PAP and non-toxic PAP mutants have displayed broad-spectrum resistance to both viral and fungal infection. The mechanism of PAP-induced disease resistance in transgenic plants is summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Mycotoxin Production in Liquid Culture and on Plants Infected with Alternaria spp. Isolated from Rocket and Cabbage
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 743-754; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030743
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 23 February 2015 / Accepted: 25 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2152 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fungi belonging to the genus Alternaria are common pathogens of fruit and vegetables with some species able to produce secondary metabolites dangerous to human health. Twenty-eight Alternaria isolates from rocket and cabbage were investigated for their mycotoxin production. Five different Alternaria toxins were [...] Read more.
Fungi belonging to the genus Alternaria are common pathogens of fruit and vegetables with some species able to produce secondary metabolites dangerous to human health. Twenty-eight Alternaria isolates from rocket and cabbage were investigated for their mycotoxin production. Five different Alternaria toxins were extracted from synthetic liquid media and from plant material (cabbage, cultivated rocket, cauliflower). A modified Czapek-Dox medium was used for the in vitro assay. Under these conditions, more than 80% of the isolates showed the ability to produce at least one mycotoxin, generally with higher levels for tenuazonic acid. However, the same isolates analyzed in vivo seemed to lose their ability to produce tenuazonic acid. For the other mycotoxins; alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, altenuene and tentoxin a good correlation between in vitro and in vivo production was observed. In vitro assay is a useful tool to predict the possible mycotoxin contamination under field and greenhouse conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
Open AccessArticle
Relationship of Deoxynivalenol Content in Grain, Chaff, and Straw with Fusarium Head Blight Severity in Wheat Varieties with Various Levels of Resistance
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 728-742; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030728
Received: 12 November 2014 / Revised: 31 December 2014 / Accepted: 22 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1936 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A total of 122 wheat varieties obtained from the Nordic Genetic Resource Center were infected artificially with an aggressive Fusariumasiaticum strain in a field experiment. We calculated the severity of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and determined the deoxynivalenol (DON) content of wheat [...] Read more.
A total of 122 wheat varieties obtained from the Nordic Genetic Resource Center were infected artificially with an aggressive Fusariumasiaticum strain in a field experiment. We calculated the severity of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and determined the deoxynivalenol (DON) content of wheat grain, straw and glumes. We found DON contamination levels to be highest in the glumes, intermediate in the straw, and lowest in the grain in most samples. The DON contamination levels did not increase consistently with increased FHB incidence. The DON levels in the wheat varieties with high FHB resistance were not necessarily low, and those in the wheat varieties with high FHB sensitivity were not necessarily high. We selected 50 wheat genotypes with reduced DON content for future research. This study will be helpful in breeding new wheat varieties with low levels of DON accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle
An Optical Method for Serum Calcium and Phosphorus Level Assessment during Hemodialysis
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 719-727; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030719
Received: 18 November 2014 / Revised: 26 January 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2037 | PDF Full-text (776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Survival among hemodialysis patients is disturbingly low, partly because vascular calcification (VC) and cardiovascular disease are highly prevalent. Elevated serum phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) levels play an essential role in the formation of VC events. The purpose of the current study was [...] Read more.
Survival among hemodialysis patients is disturbingly low, partly because vascular calcification (VC) and cardiovascular disease are highly prevalent. Elevated serum phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) levels play an essential role in the formation of VC events. The purpose of the current study was to reveal optical monitoring possibilities of serum P and Ca values during dialysis. Twenty-eight patients from Tallinn (Estonia) and Linköping (Sweden) were included in the study. The serum levels of Ca and P on the basis of optical information, i.e., absorbance and fluorescence of the spent dialysate (optical method) were assessed. Obtained levels were compared in means and SD. The mean serum level of Ca was 2.54 ± 0.21 and 2.53 ± 0.19 mmol/L; P levels varied between 1.08 ± 0.51 and 1.08 ± 0.48 mmol/L, measured in the laboratory and estimated by the optical method respectively. The levels achieved were not significantly different (p = 0.5). The Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement between the two methods varied from −0.19 to 0.19 for Ca and from −0.37 to 0.37 in the case of P. In conclusion, optical monitoring of the spent dialysate for assessing the serum levels of Ca and P during dialysis seems to be feasible and could offer valuable and continuous information to medical staff. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremic Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Estimation of Deoxynivalenol Excretion through a 24 h Pilot Study
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 705-718; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030705
Received: 16 December 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2015 / Accepted: 16 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2144 | PDF Full-text (511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A duplicate diet study was designed to explore the occurrence of 15 Fusarium mycotoxins in the 24 h-diet consumed by one volunteer as well as the levels of mycotoxins in his 24 h-collected urine. The employed methodology involved solvent extraction at high ionic [...] Read more.
A duplicate diet study was designed to explore the occurrence of 15 Fusarium mycotoxins in the 24 h-diet consumed by one volunteer as well as the levels of mycotoxins in his 24 h-collected urine. The employed methodology involved solvent extraction at high ionic strength followed by dispersive solid phase extraction and gas chromatography determination coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem. Satisfactory results in method performance were achieved. The method’s accuracy was in a range of 68%–108%, with intra-day relative standard deviation and inter-day relative standard deviation lower than 12% and 15%, respectively. The limits of quantitation ranged from 0.1 to 8 µg/Kg. The matrix effect was evaluated and matrix-matched calibrations were used for quantitation. Only deoxynivalenol (DON) was quantified in both food and urine samples. A total DON daily intake amounted to 49.2 ± 5.6 µg whereas DON daily excretion of 35.2 ± 4.3 µg was determined. DON daily intake represented 68.3% of the established DON provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI). Valuable preliminary information was obtained as regards DON excretion and needs to be confirmed in large-scale monitoring studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Open AccessReview
Centipede Venom: Recent Discoveries and Current State of Knowledge
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 679-704; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030679
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 5869 | PDF Full-text (831 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known [...] Read more.
Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known about centipede venom and its composition. Advances in analytical tools, however, have recently provided the first detailed insights into the composition and evolution of centipede venoms. This has revealed that centipede venom proteins are highly diverse, with 61 phylogenetically distinct venom protein and peptide families. A number of these have been convergently recruited into the venoms of other animals, providing valuable information on potential underlying causes of the occasionally serious complications arising from human centipede envenomations. However, the majority of venom protein and peptide families bear no resemblance to any characterised protein or peptide family, highlighting the novelty of centipede venoms. This review highlights recent discoveries and summarises the current state of knowledge on the fascinating venom system of centipedes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessReview
Biology, Genetics, and Management of Ergot (Claviceps spp.) in Rye, Sorghum, and Pearl Millet
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 659-678; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030659
Received: 12 December 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3921 | PDF Full-text (784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ergot is a disease of cereals and grasses caused by fungi in the genus Claviceps. Of particular concern are Claviceps purpurea in temperate regions, C. africana in sorghum (worldwide), and C. fusiformis in pearl millet (Africa, Asia). The fungi infect young, usually [...] Read more.
Ergot is a disease of cereals and grasses caused by fungi in the genus Claviceps. Of particular concern are Claviceps purpurea in temperate regions, C. africana in sorghum (worldwide), and C. fusiformis in pearl millet (Africa, Asia). The fungi infect young, usually unfertilized ovaries, replacing the seeds by dark mycelial masses known as sclerotia. The percentage of sclerotia in marketable grain is strictly regulated in many countries. In winter rye, ergot has been known in Europe since the early Middle Ages. The alkaloids produced by the fungus severely affect the health of humans and warm-blooded animals. In sorghum and pearl millet, ergot became a problem when growers adopted hybrid technology, which increased host susceptibility. Plant traits reducing ergot infection include immediate pollination of receptive stigmas, closed flowering (cleistogamy), and physiological resistance. Genetic, nonpollen-mediated variation in ergot susceptibility could be demonstrated in all three affected cereals. Fungicides have limited efficacy and application is weather dependent. Sorting out the sclerotia from the harvest by photocells is expensive and time consuming. In conclusion, molecular-based hybrid rye breeding could improve pollen fertility by introgressing effective restorer genes thus bringing down the ergot infection level to that of conventional population cultivars. A further reduction might be feasible in the future by selecting more resistant germplasm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Open AccessReview
Ebulin from Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus L.): A Mini-Review
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 648-658; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030648
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 30 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2986 | PDF Full-text (501 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sambucus ebulus L. (dwarf elder) is a medicinal plant, the usefulness of which also as food is restricted due to its toxicity. In the last few years, both the chemistry and pharmacology of Sambucus ebulus L. have been investigated. Among the structural and [...] Read more.
Sambucus ebulus L. (dwarf elder) is a medicinal plant, the usefulness of which also as food is restricted due to its toxicity. In the last few years, both the chemistry and pharmacology of Sambucus ebulus L. have been investigated. Among the structural and functional proteins present in the plant, sugar-binding proteins (lectins) with or without anti-ribosomal activity and single chain ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) have been isolated. RIPs are enzymes (E.C. 3.2.2.22) that display N-glycosidase activity on the 28S rRNA subunit, leading to the inhibition of protein synthesis by arresting the step of polypeptide chain elongation. The biological role of all these proteins is as yet unknown. The evidence suggests that they could be involved in the defense of the plant against predators and viruses or/and a nitrogen store, with an impact on the nutritional characteristics and food safety. In this mini-review we describe all the isoforms of ebulin that have to date been isolated from dwarf elder, as well as their functional characteristics and potential uses, whilst highlighting concern regarding ebulin toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins)
Open AccessReview
Structures of Eukaryotic Ribosomal Stalk Proteins and Its Complex with Trichosanthin, and Their Implications in Recruiting Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins to the Ribosomes
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 638-647; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030638
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 30 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2817 | PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIP) are RNA N-glycosidases that inactivate ribosomes by specifically depurinating a conserved adenine residue at the α-sarcin/ricin loop of 28S rRNA. Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of the C-terminal domain of the eukaryotic stalk proteins in facilitating [...] Read more.
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIP) are RNA N-glycosidases that inactivate ribosomes by specifically depurinating a conserved adenine residue at the α-sarcin/ricin loop of 28S rRNA. Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of the C-terminal domain of the eukaryotic stalk proteins in facilitating the toxic action of RIPs. This review highlights how structural studies of eukaryotic stalk proteins provide insights into the recruitment of RIPs to the ribosomes. Since the C-terminal domain of eukaryotic stalk proteins is involved in specific recognition of elongation factors and some eukaryote-specific RIPs (e.g., trichosanthin and ricin), we postulate that these RIPs may have evolved to hijack the translation-factor-recruiting function of ribosomal stalk in reaching their target site of rRNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Toxins)
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