aflatoxin


DESCRIPTION: Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, the most notable ones being Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known. After entering the body, aflatoxins may be metabolized by the liver to a reactive epoxide intermediate or hydroxylated to become the less harmful aflatoxin M1.

Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature. They can colonize and contaminate grain before harvest or during storage. Host crops are particularly susceptible to infection by Aspergillus following prolonged exposure to a high-humidity environment, or damage from stressful conditions such as drought, a condition that lowers the barrier to entry.
The native habitat of Aspergillus is in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains undergoing microbiological deterioration, and it invades all types of organic substrates whenever conditions are favorable for its growth. Favorable conditions include high moisture content (at least 7%) and high temperature.
Crops that are frequently affected include cereals (maize, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, wheat), oilseeds (peanut, soybean, sunflower, cotton), spices (chilli peppers, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger), and tree nuts (almond, pistachio, walnut, coconut, brazil nut).
The toxin can also be found in the milk of animals that are fed contaminated feed.


DNA DAMAGES:
aflatoxin-G
aflatoxin-FapyG


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NAME STRUCTURE PROTEINS DNA DAMAGE EFFECT(S) PATHWAY(S) RELATED
aflatoxin-G UvrC
UvrB
ERCC5 (XPG)
ERCC4 (XPF)
carcinogen
DNA backbone distortion
stalled replication fork
Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway
nucleotide excision repair (NER)
prokaryotic (SOS) response
aflatoxin-FapyG Fpg (MutM)
ERCC5 (XPG)
ERCC4 (XPF)
carcinogen
DNA backbone distortion
stalled replication fork
Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway
base excision repair (BER)
nucleotide excision repair (NER)

Last modification date: Oct. 10, 2011