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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1988 Jul;54(7):1806-11.

Fumonisins--novel mycotoxins with cancer-promoting activity produced by Fusarium moniliforme.

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Research Institute for Nutritional Diseases, South African Medical Research Council, Tygerberg.


Cultures on corn of Fusarium moniliforme MRC 826 are known to cause leukoencephalomalacia in horses and to be toxic and hepatocarcinogenic in rats. Culture material of this F. moniliforme isolate has also been shown to exhibit cancer-promoting activity in a short-term cancer initiation-promotion bioassay with diethylnitrosamine-initiated rats and the induction of gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase-positive (GGT+) foci as an endpoint after 4 weeks of promotion. This bioassay was used as a monitoring system to isolate cancer-promoting compounds from cultures of F. moniliforme MRC 826. Culture material was successively extracted with ethyl acetate and CH3OH-H2O (3:1). Most of the cancer-promoting activity was recovered in the CH3OH-H2O extract and remained in the aqueous phase following partitioning of this extract between CH3OH-H2O (1:3) and CHCl3. The CH3OH-H2O fraction was chromatographed on an Amberlite XAD-2 column, and the active fraction was eluted with CH3OH. This fraction was chromatographed on a silica gel column with CHCl3-CH3OH-CH3COOH (6:3:1) as eluent and further purified on a C18 reverse-phase column. Two pure compounds were isolated, and these have been chemically characterized and given the trivial names fumonisin B1 and B2. At least 2 g of the major compound fumonisin B1 was purified from 1 kg of culture material. Fumonisin B1 in the diet (0.1%) significantly (P less than 0.001) induced the formation of GGT+ foci in the livers of initiated as well as noninitiated rats.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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