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Toxins, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2016)

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Cover Story Deoxynivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, nivalenol and zearalenone are [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Higher Levels of Aflatoxin M1 Contamination and Poorer Composition of Milk Supplied by Informal Milk Marketing Chains in Pakistan
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 347; doi:10.3390/toxins8120347
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
The present study was conducted to observe the seasonal variation in aflatoxin M1 and nutritional quality of milk along informal marketing chains. Milk samples (485) were collected from three different chains over a period of one year. The average concentrations of aflatoxin M1
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The present study was conducted to observe the seasonal variation in aflatoxin M1 and nutritional quality of milk along informal marketing chains. Milk samples (485) were collected from three different chains over a period of one year. The average concentrations of aflatoxin M1 during the autumn and monsoon seasons (2.60 and 2.59 ppb) were found to be significantly higher (standard error of the difference, SED = 0.21: p = 0.003) than in the summer (1.93 ppb). The percentage of added water in milk was significantly lower (SED = 1.54: p < 0.001) in summer (18.59%) than in the monsoon season (26.39%). There was a significantly different (SED = 2.38: p < 0.001) mean percentage of water added by farmers (6.23%), small collectors (14.97%), large collectors (27.96%) and retailers (34.52%). This was reflected in changes in milk quality along the marketing chain. There was no difference (p = 0.178) in concentration of aflatoxin M1 in milk collected from the farmers (2.12 ppb), small collectors (2.23 ppb), large collectors (2.36 ppb) and retailers (2.58 ppb). The high levels of contamination found in this study, which exceed the standards set by European Union (0.05 ppb) and USFDA (0.5 ppb), demand radical intervention by regulatory authorities and mass awareness of the consequences for consumer health and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Insights into the Hypertensive Effects of Tityus serrulatus Scorpion Venom: Purification of an Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-Like Peptidase
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 348; doi:10.3390/toxins8120348
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed
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The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like) purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle Viperid Envenomation Wound Exudate Contributes to Increased Vascular Permeability via a DAMPs/TLR-4 Mediated Pathway
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 349; doi:10.3390/toxins8120349
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Viperid snakebite envenomation is characterized by inflammatory events including increase in vascular permeability. A copious exudate is generated in tissue injected with venom, whose proteomics analysis has provided insights into the mechanisms of venom-induced tissue damage. Hereby it is reported that wound exudate
[...] Read more.
Viperid snakebite envenomation is characterized by inflammatory events including increase in vascular permeability. A copious exudate is generated in tissue injected with venom, whose proteomics analysis has provided insights into the mechanisms of venom-induced tissue damage. Hereby it is reported that wound exudate itself has the ability to induce increase in vascular permeability in the skin of mice. Proteomics analysis of exudate revealed the presence of cytokines and chemokines, together with abundant damage associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) resulting from both proteolysis of extracellular matrix and cellular lysis. Moreover, significant differences in the amounts of cytokines/chemokines and DAMPs were detected between exudates collected 1 h and 24 h after envenomation, thus highlighting a complex temporal dynamic in the composition of exudate. Pretreatment of mice with Eritoran, an antagonist of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), significantly reduced the exudate-induced increase in vascular permeability, thus suggesting that DAMPs might be acting through this receptor. It is hypothesized that an “Envenomation-induced DAMPs cycle of tissue damage” may be operating in viperid snakebite envenomation through which venom-induced tissue damage generates a variety of DAMPs which may further expand tissue alterations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snake Venom Metalloproteinases) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Contrasting Roles of Deoxynivalenol and Nivalenol in Host-Mediated Interactions between Fusarium graminearum and Sitobion avenae
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 353; doi:10.3390/toxins8120353
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Fusarium graminearum is the predominant causal species of Fusarium head blight in Europe and North America. Different chemotypes of the species exist, each producing a plethora of mycotoxins. Isolates of differing chemotypes produce nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON), which differ in toxicity to
[...] Read more.
Fusarium graminearum is the predominant causal species of Fusarium head blight in Europe and North America. Different chemotypes of the species exist, each producing a plethora of mycotoxins. Isolates of differing chemotypes produce nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON), which differ in toxicity to mammals and plants. However, the effect of each mycotoxin on volatile emissions of plant hosts is not known. Host volatiles are interpreted by insect herbivores such as Sitobion avenae, the English grain aphid, during host selection. Previous work has shown that grain aphids are repelled by wheat infected with DON-producing F. graminearum, and this study seeks to determine the influence of pathogen mycotoxins to host volatile chemistry. Volatile collections from infected hosts and olfactometer bioassays with alate aphids were performed. Infections with isolates that produced DON and NIV were compared, as well as a trichothecene deficient transformant derived from the NIV-producing isolate. This work confirmed the repellent nature of infected hosts with DON accumulation. NIV accumulation produced volatiles that were attractive to aphids. Attraction did not occur when NIV was absent and was, therefore, a direct consequence of NIV production. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Understanding Mycotoxin Occurrence in Food and Feed Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Growth-Phase Sterigmatocystin Formation on Lactose Is Mediated via Low Specific Growth Rates in Aspergillus nidulans
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 354; doi:10.3390/toxins8120354
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Seed contamination with polyketide mycotoxins such as sterigmatocystin (ST) produced by Aspergilli is a worldwide issue. The ST biosynthetic pathway is well-characterized in A. nidulans, but regulatory aspects related to the carbon source are still enigmatic. This is particularly true for lactose,
[...] Read more.
Seed contamination with polyketide mycotoxins such as sterigmatocystin (ST) produced by Aspergilli is a worldwide issue. The ST biosynthetic pathway is well-characterized in A. nidulans, but regulatory aspects related to the carbon source are still enigmatic. This is particularly true for lactose, inasmuch as some ST production mutant strains still synthesize ST on lactose but not on other carbon substrates. Here, kinetic data revealed that on d-glucose, ST forms only after the sugar is depleted from the medium, while on lactose, ST appears when most of the carbon source is still available. Biomass-specified ST production on lactose was significantly higher than on d-glucose, suggesting that ST formation may either be mediated by a carbon catabolite regulatory mechanism, or induced by low specific growth rates attainable on lactose. These hypotheses were tested by d-glucose limited chemostat-type continuous fermentations. No ST formed at a high growth rate, while a low growth rate led to the formation of 0.4 mg·L−1 ST. Similar results were obtained with a CreA mutant strain. We concluded that low specific growth rates may be the primary cause of mid-growth ST formation on lactose in A. nidulans, and that carbon utilization rates likely play a general regulatory role during biosynthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aflatoxins)
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Open AccessCommunication Fast Screening of Antibacterial Compounds from Fusaria
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 355; doi:10.3390/toxins8120355
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bio-guided screening is an important method to identify bioactive compounds from fungi. In this study we applied a fast digital time-lapse microscopic method for assessment of the antibacterial properties of secondary metabolites from the fungal genus Fusarium. Here antibacterial effects could be
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Bio-guided screening is an important method to identify bioactive compounds from fungi. In this study we applied a fast digital time-lapse microscopic method for assessment of the antibacterial properties of secondary metabolites from the fungal genus Fusarium. Here antibacterial effects could be detected for antibiotic Y, aurofusarin, beauvericin, enniatins and fusaric acid after six hours of cultivation. The system was then used in a bio-guided screen of extracts from 14 different Fusarium species, which had been fractionated by HPLC. In this screen, fractions containing the red pigments aurofusarin and bikaverin showed effects against strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The IC50 for aurofusarin against Lactobacillus acidophilus was 8 µM, and against Bifidobacterium breve it was 64 µM. Aurofusarin only showed an effect on probiotic bacteria, leading to the speculation that only health-promoting bacteria with a positive effect in the gut system are affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Fusarium Toxins – Relevance for Human and Animal Health)
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Open AccessArticle A Topographical Atlas of Shiga Toxin 2e Receptor Distribution in the Tissues of Weaned Piglets
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 357; doi:10.3390/toxins8120357
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e of Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary virulence factor in the development of pig edema disease shortly after weaning. Stx2e binds to the globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer), the latter acting as the
[...] Read more.
Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e of Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary virulence factor in the development of pig edema disease shortly after weaning. Stx2e binds to the globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer), the latter acting as the preferential Stx2e receptor. We determined Stx receptor profiles of 25 different tissues of a male and a female weaned piglet using immunochemical solid phase binding assays combined with mass spectrometry. All probed tissues harbored GSL receptors, ranging from high (category I) over moderate (category II) to low content (category III). Examples of Gb4Cer expression in category I tissues are small intestinal ileum, kidney pelvis and whole blood, followed by colon, small intestinal duodenum and jejunum belonging to category II, and kidney cortex, cerebrum and cerebellum as members of category III organs holding true for both genders. Dominant Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms were those with ceramides carrying constant sphingosine (d18:1) and a variable C16:0, C22:0 or C24:1/C24:0 fatty acid. From the mapping data, we created a topographical atlas for Stx2e receptors in piglet tissues and organs, which might be helpful to further investigations on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie infections of Stx2e-producing STEC in pigs and their zoonotic potential for humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Shiga Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle A P-Glycoprotein Is Linked to Resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa Toxin in a Leaf Beetle
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 362; doi:10.3390/toxins8120362
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Chrysomela tremula is a polyvoltine oligophagous leaf beetle responsible for massive attacks on poplar trees. This beetle is an important model for understanding mechanisms of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins, because a resistant C. tremula strain has been found that can
[...] Read more.
Chrysomela tremula is a polyvoltine oligophagous leaf beetle responsible for massive attacks on poplar trees. This beetle is an important model for understanding mechanisms of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins, because a resistant C. tremula strain has been found that can survive and reproduce on transgenic poplar trees expressing high levels of the Cry3Aa Bt toxin. Resistance to Cry3Aa in this strain is recessive and is controlled by a single autosomal locus. We used a larval midgut transcriptome for C. tremula to search for candidate resistance genes. We discovered a mutation in an ABC protein, member of the B subfamily homologous to P-glycoprotein, which is genetically linked to Cry3Aa resistance in C. tremula. Cultured insect cells heterologously expressing this ABC protein swell and lyse when incubated with Cry3Aa toxin. In light of previous findings in Lepidoptera implicating A subfamily ABC proteins as receptors for Cry2A toxins and C subfamily proteins as receptors for Cry1A and Cry1C toxins, this result suggests that ABC proteins may be targets of insecticidal three-domain Bt toxins in Coleoptera as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Insecticidal Bacterial Toxins in Modern Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Co-Occurrence of Regulated, Masked and Emerging Mycotoxins and Secondary Metabolites in Finished Feed and Maize—An Extensive Survey
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 363; doi:10.3390/toxins8120363
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (6287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global trade of agricultural commodities (e.g., animal feed) requires monitoring for fungal toxins. Also, little is known about masked and emerging toxins and metabolites. 1926 samples from 52 countries were analysed for toxins and metabolites. Of 162 compounds detected, up to 68 metabolites
[...] Read more.
Global trade of agricultural commodities (e.g., animal feed) requires monitoring for fungal toxins. Also, little is known about masked and emerging toxins and metabolites. 1926 samples from 52 countries were analysed for toxins and metabolites. Of 162 compounds detected, up to 68 metabolites were found in a single sample. A subset of 1113 finished feed, maize and maize silage samples containing 57 compounds from 2012 to 2015 from 44 countries was investigated using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN) and fumonisins showed large increases of annual medians in Europe. Within a region, distinct trends were observed, suggesting importance of local meteorology and cultivars. In 2015, median DON concentrations increased to 1400 μ g·kg 1 in Austria, but were stable in Germany at 350 μ g·kg 1 . In 2014, enniatins occurred at median concentrations of 250 μ g·kg 1 in Europe, at levels similar to DON and ZEN. The latter were frequently correlated with DON-3-glucoside and ZEN-14-sulfate. Co-occurrence of regulated toxins was frequent with e.g., enniatins, and moniliformin. Correlation was observed between DON and DON-3-glucoside and with beauvericin. Results indicate that considerably more than 25% of agricultural commodities could be contaminated with mycotoxins as suggested by FAO, although this is at least partly due to the lower limits of detection in the current survey. Observed contamination percentages ranged from 7.1 to 79% for B trichothecenes and 88% for ZEN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC-MS/MS Method for Mycotoxin Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolism of HT-2 Toxin and T-2 Toxin in Oats
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 364; doi:10.3390/toxins8120364
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Fusarium mycotoxins HT-2 toxin (HT2) and T-2 toxin (T2) are frequent contaminants in oats. These toxins, but also their plant metabolites, may contribute to toxicological effects. This work describes the use of 13C-assisted liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry for the first comprehensive
[...] Read more.
The Fusarium mycotoxins HT-2 toxin (HT2) and T-2 toxin (T2) are frequent contaminants in oats. These toxins, but also their plant metabolites, may contribute to toxicological effects. This work describes the use of 13C-assisted liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry for the first comprehensive study on the biotransformation of HT2 and T2 in oats. Using this approach, 16 HT2 and 17 T2 metabolites were annotated including novel glycosylated and hydroxylated forms of the toxins, hydrolysis products, and conjugates with acetic acid, putative malic acid, malonic acid, and ferulic acid. Further targeted quantitative analysis was performed to study toxin metabolism over time, as well as toxin and conjugate mobility within non-treated plant tissues. As a result, HT2-3-O-β-d-glucoside was identified as the major detoxification product of both parent toxins, which was rapidly formed (to an extent of 74% in HT2-treated and 48% in T2-treated oats within one day after treatment) and further metabolised. Mobility of the parent toxins appeared to be negligible, while HT2-3-O-β-d-glucoside was partly transported (up to approximately 4%) through panicle side branches and stem. Our findings demonstrate that the presented combination of untargeted and targeted analysis is well suited for the comprehensive elucidation of mycotoxin metabolism in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC-MS/MS Method for Mycotoxin Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle ATP Release from Human Airway Epithelial Cells Exposed to Staphylococcus aureus Alpha-Toxin
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 365; doi:10.3390/toxins8120365
Received: 6 January 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Airway epithelial cells reduce cytosolic ATP content in response to treatment with S. aureus alpha-toxin (hemolysin A, Hla). This study was undertaken to investigate whether this is due to attenuated ATP generation or to release of ATP from the cytosol and extracellular ATP
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Airway epithelial cells reduce cytosolic ATP content in response to treatment with S. aureus alpha-toxin (hemolysin A, Hla). This study was undertaken to investigate whether this is due to attenuated ATP generation or to release of ATP from the cytosol and extracellular ATP degradation by ecto-enzymes. Exposure of cells to rHla did result in mitochondrial calcium uptake and a moderate decline in mitochondrial membrane potential, indicating that ATP regeneration may have been attenuated. In addition, ATP may have left the cells through transmembrane pores formed by the toxin or through endogenous release channels (e.g., pannexins) activated by cellular stress imposed on the cells by toxin exposure. Exposure of cells to an alpha-toxin mutant (H35L), which attaches to the host cell membrane but does not form transmembrane pores, did not induce ATP release from the cells. The Hla-mediated ATP-release was completely blocked by IB201, a cyclodextrin-inhibitor of the alpha-toxin pore, but was not at all affected by inhibitors of pannexin channels. These results indicate that, while exposure of cells to rHla may somewhat reduce ATP production and cellular ATP content, a portion of the remaining ATP is released to the extracellular space and degraded by ecto-enzymes. The release of ATP from the cells may occur directly through the transmembrane pores formed by alpha-toxin. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
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Open AccessCommunication Yeast Reporter Assay to Identify Cellular Components of Ricin Toxin A Chain Trafficking
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 366; doi:10.3390/toxins8120366
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
RTA, the catalytic A-subunit of the ribosome inactivating A/B toxin ricin, inhibits eukaryotic protein biosynthesis by depurination of 28S rRNA. Although cell surface binding of ricin holotoxin is mainly mediated through its B-subunit (RTB), sole application of RTA is also toxic, albeit to
[...] Read more.
RTA, the catalytic A-subunit of the ribosome inactivating A/B toxin ricin, inhibits eukaryotic protein biosynthesis by depurination of 28S rRNA. Although cell surface binding of ricin holotoxin is mainly mediated through its B-subunit (RTB), sole application of RTA is also toxic, albeit to a significantly lower extent, suggesting alternative pathways for toxin uptake and transport. Since ricin toxin trafficking in mammalian cells is still not fully understood, we developed a GFP-based reporter assay in yeast that allows rapid identification of cellular components required for RTA uptake and subsequent transport through a target cell. We hereby show that Ypt6p, Sft2p and GARP-complex components play an important role in RTA transport, while neither the retromer complex nor COPIB vesicles are part of the transport machinery. Analyses of yeast knock-out mutants with chromosomal deletion in genes whose products regulate ADP-ribosylation factor GTPases (Arf-GTPases) and/or retrograde Golgi-to-ER (endoplasmic reticulum) transport identified Sso1p, Snc1p, Rer1p, Sec22p, Erv46p, Gea1p and Glo3p as novel components in RTA transport, suggesting the developed reporter assay as a powerful tool to dissect the multistep processes of host cell intoxication in yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ribosome Inactivating Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 367; doi:10.3390/toxins8120367
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6851 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the
[...] Read more.
Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle Evolution of the Cytolytic Pore-Forming Proteins (Actinoporins) in Sea Anemones
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 368; doi:10.3390/toxins8120368
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sea anemones (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, and Actiniaria) use toxic peptides to incapacitate and immobilize prey and to deter potential predators. Their toxin arsenal is complex, targeting a variety of functionally important protein complexes and macromolecules involved in cellular homeostasis. Among these, actinoporins are one
[...] Read more.
Sea anemones (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, and Actiniaria) use toxic peptides to incapacitate and immobilize prey and to deter potential predators. Their toxin arsenal is complex, targeting a variety of functionally important protein complexes and macromolecules involved in cellular homeostasis. Among these, actinoporins are one of the better characterized toxins; these venom proteins form a pore in cellular membranes containing sphingomyelin. We used a combined bioinformatic and phylogenetic approach to investigate how actinoporins have evolved across three superfamilies of sea anemones (Actinioidea, Metridioidea, and Actinostoloidea). Our analysis identified 90 candidate actinoporins across 20 species. We also found clusters of six actinoporin-like genes in five species of sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis, Stomphia coccinea, Epiactis japonica, Heteractis crispa, and Diadumene leucolena); these actinoporin-like sequences resembled actinoporins but have a higher sequence similarity with toxins from fungi, cone snails, and Hydra. Comparative analysis of the candidate actinoporins highlighted variable and conserved regions within actinoporins that may pertain to functional variation. Although multiple residues are involved in initiating sphingomyelin recognition and membrane binding, there is a high rate of replacement for a specific tryptophan with leucine (W112L) and other hydrophobic residues. Residues thought to be involved with oligomerization were variable, while those forming the phosphocholine (POC) binding site and the N-terminal region involved with cell membrane penetration were highly conserved. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Evolution of Venom Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Frequent Occupational Exposure to Fusarium Mycotoxins of Workers in the Swiss Grain Industry
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 370; doi:10.3390/toxins8120370
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 12 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Type B trichotecens such as deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins contaminating wheat and wheat dust. Mycotoxins are toxic upon ingestion and considered potentially toxic when inhaled. Whereas dietary exposure to mycotoxins is controlled in food,
[...] Read more.
Type B trichotecens such as deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins contaminating wheat and wheat dust. Mycotoxins are toxic upon ingestion and considered potentially toxic when inhaled. Whereas dietary exposure to mycotoxins is controlled in food, data on occupational exposure by inhalation by grain workers are scarce. The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of DON, 3-ADON, 15-ADON, NIV and ZEN in aerosols generated during grain harvesting and unloading and the risk of exposure of grain workers. Aerosols were collected during the threshing of 78 winter wheat fields and grain unloading of 59 grain lots in six grain terminals in the Vaud region (Switzerland). The samples represented the diversity of the winter wheat cultivar and of the farming system (88 treated with fungicides, 46 untreated). Using a HPLC MS/MS method developed to quantify mycotoxins in aerosols, we report that the mycotoxin content of aerosols was not affected by the wheat cultivars or farming system, but that the incidence of the mycotoxins differed between activities. While wheat harvesting generated on average 28, 20 and 1 ng·m−3 of DON, NIV and ZEN, respectively, grain unloading generated 53, 46 and 4 ng·m−3. Personal sampling revealed that working in a cab was an efficient protective measure. However, it was not sufficient to avoid chronic exposure to multiple mycotoxins. The most exposed activity was the cleaning, exposing workers to DON, NIV and ZEN at concentrations as high as 65, 59 and 3 ng·m−3. These data provide valuable information for future studies of mycotoxin toxicity at relevant concentrations on respiratory health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Harmonized Collaborative Validation of Aflatoxins and Sterigmatocystin in White Rice and Sorghum by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 371; doi:10.3390/toxins8120371
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An interlaboratory study was performed in eight laboratories to validate a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins and sterigmatocystin (STC) in white rice and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). Fortified samples (at three different levels) of white
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An interlaboratory study was performed in eight laboratories to validate a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins and sterigmatocystin (STC) in white rice and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). Fortified samples (at three different levels) of white rice and sorghum were extracted, purified through a solid-phase extraction (SPE) column, and then analyzed by LC/MS/MS. The apparent recoveries (ARs) ranged from 78.8% to 95.0% for aflatoxins and from 85.3% to 96.7% for STC. The relative standard deviations for repeatability (RSDr) and reproducibility (RSDR) of aflatoxins were in the ranges 7.9%–33.8% and 24.4%–81.0%, respectively. For STC, the RSDr ranged from 7.1% to 40.2% and the RSDR ranged from 28.1% to 99.2%. The Horwitz ratio values for the aflatoxins and STC ranged from 0.4 to 1.2 in white rice and from 0.3 to 1.0 in sorghum, respectively. These results validated this method for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins and STC by LC/MS/MS after SPE column cleanup. The percentages of satisfactory Z-score values (|Z| ≤ 2) were the following: for white rice, 100% for aflatoxins and STC; for sorghum, 100%, except in data from two laboratories for STC (0.3 μg/kg). This validated that the LC/MS/MS method was successfully applied for the determination of aflatoxins and STC in 20 white rice and 20 sorghum samples sourced from Korean markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC-MS/MS Method for Mycotoxin Analysis)
Open AccessArticle Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 372; doi:10.3390/toxins8120372
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals
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Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A2 and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5′-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessArticle Limited Link between Oxidative Stress and Ochratoxin A—Induced Renal Injury in an Acute Toxicity Rat Model
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 373; doi:10.3390/toxins8120373
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
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Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) displays nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. However, in the acute toxicity rat model, there is no evidence on the relationship between OTA and nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. Based on this, the integrated analysis of physiological status, damage biomarkers, oxidative stress, and DNA damage
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Ochratoxin A (OTA) displays nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. However, in the acute toxicity rat model, there is no evidence on the relationship between OTA and nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. Based on this, the integrated analysis of physiological status, damage biomarkers, oxidative stress, and DNA damage were performed. After OTA treatment, the body weight decreased and AST, ALP, TP, and BUN levels in serum increased. Hydropic degeneration, swelling, vacuolization, and partial drop occurred in proximal tubule epithelial cells. PCNA and Kim-1 were dose-dependently increased in the kidney, but Cox-2 expression and proliferation were not found in the liver. In OTA-treated kidneys, the mRNA expressions of Kim-1, Cox-2, Lcn2, and Clu were dose-dependently increased. The mRNA expressions of Vim and Cox-2 were decreased in OTA-treated livers. Some oxidative stress indicators were altered in the kidneys (ROS and SOD) and livers (SOD and GSH). DNA damage and oxidative DNA damage were not found. In conclusion, there is a limited link between oxidative stress and OTA-induced renal injury in an acute toxicity rat model. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Ochratoxins-Collection)
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Open AccessArticle Abobotulinum Toxin A in the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 374; doi:10.3390/toxins8120374
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
Chronic low back pain is a debilitating condition with a complex and multifactorial pathophysiology. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have strong analgesic effects, as shown in both animal models of pain and in human beings. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel format study to investigate the
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Chronic low back pain is a debilitating condition with a complex and multifactorial pathophysiology. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have strong analgesic effects, as shown in both animal models of pain and in human beings. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel format study to investigate the efficacy of abobotulinum toxin A (aboA) in chronic low back pain was conducted. The study cohort consisted of 18 patients who received 100 units of aboA into each of the five lumbar extensor spinae muscles unilaterally or bilaterally (total dose 500 to 1000 units), and 19 who received normal saline of the same volume. The level of pain and quality of life were assessed using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and three questionnaires including the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (OLBPDQ). Patients’ perception of improvement was recorded via patient global impression of change (PGIC). The primary outcome measure, the proportion of responders with VAS of <4 at 6 weeks, was not met, but the data was significantly in favor of aboA at 4 weeks (p = 0.008). The total Oswestry score representing quality of life improved in the aboA group compared to the placebo group (p = 0.0448). Moreover, significantly more patients reported their low back pain as “much improved” in the abobotulinum toxin A group (0.0293). Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Botulinum Toxins on Human Pain)
Open AccessArticle QuEChERS Purification Combined with Ultrahigh-Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Simultaneous Quantification of 25 Mycotoxins in Cereals
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 375; doi:10.3390/toxins8120375
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
A method based on the QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) purification combined with ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS), was optimized for the simultaneous quantification of 25 mycotoxins in cereals. Samples were extracted with a solution containing 80%
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A method based on the QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) purification combined with ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS), was optimized for the simultaneous quantification of 25 mycotoxins in cereals. Samples were extracted with a solution containing 80% acetonitrile and 0.1% formic acid, and purified with QuEChERS before being separated by a C18 column. The mass spectrometry was conducted by using positive electrospray ionization (ESI+) and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) models. The method gave good linear relations with regression coefficients ranging from 0.9950 to 0.9999. The detection limits ranged from 0.03 to 15.0 µg·kg−1, and the average recovery at three different concentrations ranged from 60.2% to 115.8%, with relative standard deviations (RSD%) varying from 0.7% to 19.6% for the 25 mycotoxins. The method is simple, rapid, accurate, and an improvement compared with the existing methods published so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC-MS/MS Method for Mycotoxin Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Probiotic Microorganisms Inhibit Epithelial Cell Internalization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 377; doi:10.3390/toxins8120377
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
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Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal
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Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal epithelia to disseminate in the blood. The timing of BoNT/A toxin internalization was shown to be comparable in both the Caco-2 in vitro cell culture and in the oral mouse intoxication models. Probiotic microorganisms have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects in not only maintaining the normal gut mucosa but also protection from allergens, pathogens, and toxins. In this study, we evaluate whether probiotic microorganisms will block BoNT/A uptake in the in vitro cell culture system using Caco-2 cells. Several probiotics tested (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, and Lactobacillus reuteri) blocked BoNT/A uptake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a non-probiotic strain of Escherichia coli did not. We also showed that inhibition of BoNT/A uptake was not due to the degradation of BoNT/A nor by sequestration of toxin via binding to probiotics. These results show for the first time that probiotic treatment can inhibit BoNT/A binding and internalization in vitro and may lead to the development of new therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Analysis to Understand the Toxicity of Latrodectus tredecimguttatus Eggs
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 378; doi:10.3390/toxins8120378
Received: 22 August 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract
Latrodectus tredecimguttatus is a kind of highly venomous black widow spider, with toxicity coming from not only venomous glands but also other parts of its body as well as newborn spiderlings and eggs. Up to date, although L. tredecimguttatus eggs have been demonstrated
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Latrodectus tredecimguttatus is a kind of highly venomous black widow spider, with toxicity coming from not only venomous glands but also other parts of its body as well as newborn spiderlings and eggs. Up to date, although L. tredecimguttatus eggs have been demonstrated to be rich in proteinaceous toxins, there is no systematic investigation on such active components at transcriptome level. In this study, we performed a high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of L. tredecimguttatus eggs with Illumina sequencing technology. As a result, 53,284 protein-coding unigenes were identified, of which 14,185 unigenes produced significant hits in the available databases, including 280 unigenes encoding proteins or peptides homologous to known proteinaceous toxins. GO term and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses of the 280 unigenes showed that 375 GO terms and 18 KEGG pathways were significantly enriched. Functional analysis indicated that these unigene-coded toxins have the bioactivities to degrade tissue proteins, inhibit ion channels, block neuromuscular transmission, provoke anaphylaxis, induce apoptosis and hyperalgesia, etc. No known typical proteinaceous toxins in L. tredecimguttatus venomous glands, such as latrotoxins, were identified, suggesting that the eggs have a different toxicity mechanism from that of the venom. Our present transcriptome analysis not only helps to reveal the gene expression profile and toxicity mechanism of the L. tredecimguttatus eggs, but also provides references for the further related researches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Open AccessReview Worldwide Mycotoxins Exposure in Pig and Poultry Feed Formulations
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 350; doi:10.3390/toxins8120350
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based
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The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based on mycotoxin contamination levels of the raw materials with different diet formulations, to highlight the important role the stage of production and the raw materials used can have on mycotoxins levels in diets. Our analysis focuses on mycotoxins for which maximum tolerated levels or regulatory guidelines exist, and for which sufficient contamination data are available. Raw materials used in feed formulation vary considerably depending on the species of animal, and the stage of production. Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites whose frequency and levels also vary considerably depending on the raw materials used and on the geographic location where they were produced. Although several reviews of existing data and of the literature on worldwide mycotoxin contamination of food and feed are available, the impact of the different raw materials used on feed formulation has not been widely studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessReview Dehydropyrrolizidine Alkaloid Toxicity, Cytotoxicity, and Carcinogenicity
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 356; doi:10.3390/toxins8120356
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid (DHPA)-producing plants have a worldwide distribution amongst flowering plants and commonly cause poisoning of livestock, wildlife, and humans. Previous work has produced considerable understanding of DHPA metabolism, toxicity, species susceptibility, conditions, and routes of exposure, and pathogenesis of acute poisoning. Intoxication
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Dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid (DHPA)-producing plants have a worldwide distribution amongst flowering plants and commonly cause poisoning of livestock, wildlife, and humans. Previous work has produced considerable understanding of DHPA metabolism, toxicity, species susceptibility, conditions, and routes of exposure, and pathogenesis of acute poisoning. Intoxication is generally caused by contaminated grains, feed, flour, and breads that result in acute, high-dose, short-duration poisoning. Acute poisoning produces hepatic necrosis that is usually confirmed histologically, epidemiologically, and chemically. Less is known about chronic poisoning that may result when plant populations are sporadic, used as tisanes or herbal preparations, or when DHPAs contaminate milk, honey, pollen, or other animal-derived products. Such subclinical exposures may contribute to the development of chronic disease in humans or may be cumulative and probably slowly progress until liver failure. Recent work using rodent models suggest increased neoplastic incidence even with very low DHPA doses of short durations. These concerns have moved some governments to prohibit or limit human exposure to DHPAs. The purpose of this review is to summarize some recent DHPA research, including in vitro and in vivo DHPA toxicity and carcinogenicity reports, and the implications of these findings with respect to diagnosis and prognosis for human and animal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
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Open AccessReview Indoxyl Sulfate—Review of Toxicity and Therapeutic Strategies
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 358; doi:10.3390/toxins8120358
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Indoxyl sulfate is an extensively studied uremic solute. It is a small molecule that is more than 90% bound to plasma proteins. Indoxyl sulfate is derived from the breakdown of tryptophan by colon microbes. The kidneys achieve high clearances of indoxyl sulfate by
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Indoxyl sulfate is an extensively studied uremic solute. It is a small molecule that is more than 90% bound to plasma proteins. Indoxyl sulfate is derived from the breakdown of tryptophan by colon microbes. The kidneys achieve high clearances of indoxyl sulfate by tubular secretion, a function not replicated by hemodialysis. Clearance by hemodialysis is limited by protein binding since only the free, unbound solute can diffuse across the membrane. Since the dialytic clearance is much lower than the kidney clearance, indoxyl sulfate accumulates to relatively high plasma levels in hemodialysis patients. Indoxyl sulfate has been most frequently implicated as a contributor to renal disease progression and vascular disease. Studies have suggested that indoxyl sulfate also has adverse effects on bones and the central nervous system. The majority of studies have assessed toxicity in cultured cells and animal models. The toxicity in humans has not yet been proven, as most data have been from association studies. Such toxicity data, albeit inconclusive, have prompted efforts to lower the plasma levels of indoxyl sulfate through dialytic and non-dialytic means. The largest randomized trial showed no benefit in renal disease progression with AST-120. No trials have yet tested cardiovascular or mortality benefit. Without such trials, the toxicity of indoxyl sulfate cannot be firmly established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Issues in Uremic Toxicity)
Open AccessReview The Emergence and Epidemiology of Haff Disease in China
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 359; doi:10.3390/toxins8120359
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Haff disease is a rare syndrome of unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis occurring within 24 h of consumption of certain types of cooked freshwater fish or crustacean. It is caused by a yet unidentified heat-stable toxin. In the present review of published case studies
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Haff disease is a rare syndrome of unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis occurring within 24 h of consumption of certain types of cooked freshwater fish or crustacean. It is caused by a yet unidentified heat-stable toxin. In the present review of published case studies and official press releases, the main objective is to report the emergence and epidemiology of Haff disease in China. Haff disease first occurred in Beijing in 2000 and in Lianzhou and Liannan, Guangdong Province in 2009. Subsequent outbreaks mostly occurred in the Jiangsu Province—Nanjing, Yangzhou, Huai’an, and Yancheng. Isolated outbreaks occurred in other cities since 2010—Shijiazhuang, Yueyang, Shanghai, Wuhu, Baoding, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong (imported cases from Shenzhen). Outbreaks occurred predominately in the summer. Crayfish accounted for almost all the outbreaks. Two large outbreaks occurred in Lianzhou and Liannan in 2009 (n = 54) after eating pomfrets and in Nanjing in 2010 (n = 42) after eating crayfish. Other reports or outbreaks involved only 1–9 subjects (median 2 subjects). Variability in individual susceptibility and attack rates were noted, with many subjects remaining asymptomatic despite sharing the same seafood meal as the index cases. Adults were predominately involved. Symptoms occurred within 3–20 h of seafood ingestion, including myalgia, weakness, and, less frequently, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Myalgia and muscle weakness should normally subside within 2–3 days. Serum creatine phosphokinase became normal within 5–6 days. Abnormal renal function was uncommon. Serious complications (renal failure, multi-organ failure, and prolonged myopathy) and death were rare. In any subjects with unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis, seafood consumption should be included in the history. All suspected cases of Haff disease, including milder presentations, should be reported to public health authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Open AccessReview Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 360; doi:10.3390/toxins8120360
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress,
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Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snake Venom Metalloproteinases) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Modified Mycotoxin Analysis: Why HRMS Has Become a Key Instrument in Food Contaminant Research
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 361; doi:10.3390/toxins8120361
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic fungi in crops worldwide. These compounds can undergo modification in plants, leading to the formation of a large number of possible modified forms, whose toxicological relevance and occurrence in food and feed is still largely unexplored.
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Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic fungi in crops worldwide. These compounds can undergo modification in plants, leading to the formation of a large number of possible modified forms, whose toxicological relevance and occurrence in food and feed is still largely unexplored. The analysis of modified mycotoxins by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry remains a challenge because of their chemical diversity, the large number of isomeric forms, and the lack of analytical standards. Here, the potential benefits of high-resolution and ion mobility mass spectrometry as a tool for separation and structure confirmation of modified mycotoxins have been investigated/reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC-MS/MS Method for Mycotoxin Analysis)
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Open AccessReview Fibroblast Growth Factor-23—A Potential Uremic Toxin
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 369; doi:10.3390/toxins8120369
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is a circulating member of the FGF family produced mainly by the osteocytes and osteoblasts that can act as a hormone. The main action of FGF23 is to lower phosphatemia via the reduction of urinary phosphate reabsorption and the
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Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is a circulating member of the FGF family produced mainly by the osteocytes and osteoblasts that can act as a hormone. The main action of FGF23 is to lower phosphatemia via the reduction of urinary phosphate reabsorption and the decrease of 1,25(OH)2-D generation in the kidney. In the course of chronic kidney disease (CKD), plasma FGF23 concentration rises early, most probably to compensate the inability of the deteriorating kidneys to excrete an adequate amount of phosphate. However, this comes at the cost of FGF23-related target organ toxicity. Results of clinical studies suggest that elevated plasma FGF23 concentration is independently associated with the increased risk of CKD progression, occurrence of cardio-vascular complications, and mortality in different stages of CKD. FGF23 also contributes to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, vascular calcification, and endothelial dysfunction. The impact of FGF23 on heart muscle is not dependent on Klotho, but rather on the PLCγ–calcineurin–NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) pathway. Among the factors increasing plasma FGF23 concentration, active vitamin D analogues play a significant role. Additionally, inflammation and iron deficiency can contribute to the increase of plasma FGF23. Among the factors decreasing plasma FGF23, dietary phosphate restriction, some intestinal phosphate binders, cinacalcet (and other calcimimetics), and nicotinamide can be enumerated. Anti-FGF23 antibodies have also recently been developed to inhibit the action of FGF23 in target organs. Still, the best way to normalize plasma FGF23 in maintenance hemodialysis patients is restoring kidney function by successful kidney transplantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Issues in Uremic Toxicity)
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Open AccessReview Modified Lipids and Lipoproteins in Chronic Kidney Disease: A New Class of Uremic Toxins
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 376; doi:10.3390/toxins8120376
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
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Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with an enhanced oxidative stress and deep modifications in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. First, many oxidized lipids accumulate in CKD and were shown to exert toxic effects on cells and tissues. These lipids are known to interfere
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with an enhanced oxidative stress and deep modifications in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. First, many oxidized lipids accumulate in CKD and were shown to exert toxic effects on cells and tissues. These lipids are known to interfere with many cell functions and to be pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory, especially in the cardiovascular system. Some, like F2-isoprostanes, are directly correlated with CKD progression. Their accumulation, added to their noxious effects, rendered their nomination as uremic toxins credible. Similarly, lipoproteins are deeply altered by CKD modifications, either in their metabolism or composition. These impairments lead to impaired effects of HDL on their normal effectors and may strongly participate in accelerated atherosclerosis and failure of statins in end-stage renal disease patients. This review describes the impact of oxidized lipids and other modifications in the natural history of CKD and its complications. Moreover, this review focuses on the modifications of lipoproteins and their impact on the emergence of cardiovascular diseases in CKD as well as the appropriateness of considering them as actual mediators of uremic toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Issues in Uremic Toxicity)
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Other

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Open AccessConference Report Priority Actions and Progress to Substantially and Sustainably Reduce the Mortality, Morbidity and Socioeconomic Burden of Tropical Snakebite
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 351; doi:10.3390/toxins8120351
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The deliberations and conclusions of a Hinxton Retreat convened in September 2015, entitled “Mechanisms to reverse the public health neglect of snakebite victims” are reported. The participants recommended that the following priority actions be included in strategies to reduce the global impact of
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The deliberations and conclusions of a Hinxton Retreat convened in September 2015, entitled “Mechanisms to reverse the public health neglect of snakebite victims” are reported. The participants recommended that the following priority actions be included in strategies to reduce the global impact of snake envenoming: (a) collection of accurate global snakebite incidence, mortality and morbidity data to underpin advocacy efforts and help design public health campaigns; (b) promotion of (i) public education prevention campaigns; (ii) transport systems to improve access to hospitals and (iii) establishment of regional antivenom-efficacy testing facilities to ensure antivenoms’ effectiveness and safety; (c) exploration of funding models for investment in the production of antivenoms to address deficiencies in some regions; (d) establishment of (i) programs for training in effective first aid, hospital management and post-treatment care of victims; (ii) a clinical network to generate treatment guidelines and (iii) a clinical trials system to improve the clinical management of snakebite; (e) development of (i) novel treatments of the systemic and local tissue-destructive effects of envenoming and (ii) affordable, simple, point-of-care snakebite diagnostic kits to improve the accuracy and rapidity of treatment; (f) devising and implementation of interventions to help the people and communities affected by physical and psychological sequelae of snakebite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
Open AccessCorrection Correction: Chen, S., et al. Identification of an Essential Region for Translocation of Clostridium difficile Toxin B. Toxins 2016, 8, 241
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 352; doi:10.3390/toxins8120352
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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