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Article

Structural Similarity with Cholesterol Reveals Crucial Insights into Mechanisms Sustaining the Immunomodulatory Activity of the Mycotoxin Alternariol

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Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna Währinger Straße 38-40, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Core Facility Multimodal Imaging Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna Währinger Straße 38-40, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Food and Drugs, University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 38, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Joint Metabolome Facility, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna. Währinger Straße 38-40, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(4), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040847
Received: 21 February 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Pathology)
The proliferation of molds in domestic environments can lead to uncontrolled continuous exposure to mycotoxins. Even if not immediately symptomatic, this may result in chronic effects, such as, for instance, immunosuppression or allergenic promotion. Alternariol (AOH) is one of the most abundant mycotoxins produced by Alternaria alternata fungi, proliferating among others in fridges, as well as in humid walls. AOH was previously reported to have immunomodulatory potential. However, molecular mechanisms sustaining this effect remained elusive. In differentiated THP-1 macrophages, AOH hardly altered the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators when co-incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), opening up the possibility that the immunosuppressive potential of the toxin could be related to an alteration of a downstream pro-inflammatory signaling cascade. Intriguingly, the mycotoxin affected the membrane fluidity in macrophages and it synergistically reacted with the cholesterol binding agent MβCD. In silico modelling revealed the potential of the mycotoxin to intercalate in cholesterol-rich membrane domains, like caveolae, and immunofluorescence showed the modified interplay of caveolin-1 with Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 4. In conclusion, we identified the structural similarity with cholesterol as one of the key determinants of the immunomodulatory potential of AOH. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunomodulation; alternariol; membrane; cholesterol immunomodulation; alternariol; membrane; cholesterol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Del Favero, G.; Mayer, R.M.; Dellafiora, L.; Janker, L.; Niederstaetter, L.; Dall’Asta, C.; Gerner, C.; Marko, D. Structural Similarity with Cholesterol Reveals Crucial Insights into Mechanisms Sustaining the Immunomodulatory Activity of the Mycotoxin Alternariol. Cells 2020, 9, 847. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040847

AMA Style

Del Favero G, Mayer RM, Dellafiora L, Janker L, Niederstaetter L, Dall’Asta C, Gerner C, Marko D. Structural Similarity with Cholesterol Reveals Crucial Insights into Mechanisms Sustaining the Immunomodulatory Activity of the Mycotoxin Alternariol. Cells. 2020; 9(4):847. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040847

Chicago/Turabian Style

Del Favero, Giorgia, Raphaela M. Mayer, Luca Dellafiora, Lukas Janker, Laura Niederstaetter, Chiara Dall’Asta, Christopher Gerner, and Doris Marko. 2020. "Structural Similarity with Cholesterol Reveals Crucial Insights into Mechanisms Sustaining the Immunomodulatory Activity of the Mycotoxin Alternariol" Cells 9, no. 4: 847. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040847

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