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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 8;54(5):1936-42.

Mechanisms of patulin toxicity under conditions that inhibit yeast growth.

Author information

  • 1National Food Research Institute (NFRI), 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan. yumiko@affrc.go.jp

Erratum in

  • J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1648.


Patulin, 4-hydroxy-4H-furo[3,2c]pyran-2(6H)-one, is one of the best characterized and most widely disseminated mycotoxins found in agricultural products. Nonetheless, the mechanisms by which patulin causes toxicity are not well understood. Thus, the cytotoxicity of patulin was characterized by analysis of the yeast transcriptome upon challenge with patulin. Interestingly, patulin-induced yeast gene expression profiles were found to be similar to gene expression patterns obtained after treatment with the antifungal agricultural chemicals thiuram, maneb, and zineb. Moreover, patulin treatment was found to activate protein degradation, especially proteasome activities, sulfur amino acid metabolism, and the defense system for oxidative stress. Damage to DNA by alkylation was also suggested, and this seemed to be repaired by recombinational and excision repair mechanisms. Furthermore, the results provide potential biomarker genes for the detection of patulin in agricultural products. The results suggest the possibility of applying the yeast transcriptome system for the evaluation of chemicals, especially for natural chemicals that are difficult to get by organic synthesis.

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