Franz Berthiller

Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (77)180.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report the identification of a barley UDP-glucosyltransferase, HvUGT14077, which is able to convert the estrogenic Fusarium mycotoxin zearalenone into a near equimolar mixture of the known masked mycotoxin zearalenone-14-O-β-glucoside and a new glucose conjugate, zearalenone-16-O-β-glucoside. Biocatalytical production using engineered yeast expressing the HvUGT14077 gene allowed structural elucidation of this compound. The purified zearalenone-16-O-β-glucoside was used as an analytical calibrant in zearalenone metabolization experiments. We confirmed the formation of this new masked mycotoxin in barley seedlings as well as in wheat and Brachypodium distachyon cell suspension cultures. In barley roots, up to 18-fold higher levels of zearalenone-16-O-β-glucoside compared to the known zearalenone-14-O-β-glucoside were found. Incubation of zearalenone-16-O-β-glucoside with human fecal slurry showed that this conjugate can also be hydrolyzed rapidly by intestinal bacteria, converting the glucoside back to the parental mycotoxin. Consequently, it should be considered as an additional masked form of zearalenone with potential relevance for food safety.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 01/2014; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pentahydroxyscirpene, a novel trichothecene-type compound, was isolated from Fusarium-inoculated rice. The structure of pentahydroxyscirpene was elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and X-ray single-crystal diffraction. The conformation in solution was determined by NOESY experiments supported by quantum chemical calculations. In vitro toxicity tests showed that pentahydroxyscirpene inhibits protein synthesis as do other trichothecenes.
    Journal of Natural Products 12/2013; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reduction of the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) in animal feed by treatment with sodium bisulfite and sodium metabisulfite has been successfully demonstrated in several studies. All of them reported formation of one DON sulfonate of strongly reduced toxicity compared to DON. The starting point of the present work was investigation of different sulfur reagents for reduction of DON. In the course of these experiments, three different DON sulfonates termed DON sulfonate 1 (1), DON sulfonate 2 (2) and DON sulfonate 3 (3) were identified and structurally elucidated by UHPLC-HR-MS/MS as well as NMR spectroscopy. 1 is characterized by loss of the epoxide group and 2 by formation of a hemiketal. 3 is an equilibrating mixture of two isomers, a ketone and a hemiketal. The MS/MS pattern can be used to differentiate the three DON sulfonates, despite their same mass and molecular formula. Investigation of parameters influencing formation and stability of DON sulfonates revealed that rapid formation of 1 and 2 occurs at alkaline pH, whereas at acidic pH, slow formation of 3 takes place, irrespective of the sulfur reagent used. Whereas 1 and 2 are stable across a broad pH range, 3 decomposes to DON, 1, and 2 at alkaline pH. In addition, both 2 and 3 are unstable in solid form. The formation, characterization and stability of three novel DON sulfonates with respect to results from previous studies are discussed, providing insights of relevance for detoxification of DON containing animal feed.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 08/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A combined (triplex) immunoassay for the simultaneous detection of three mycotoxins in grains was developed with superparamagnetic colour-encoded microbeads, in combination with two bead-dedicated flow cytometers. Monoclonal antibodies were coupled to the beads, and the amounts of bound mycotoxins were inversely related to the amounts of bound fluorescent labelled mycotoxins (inhibition immunoassay format). The selected monoclonal antibodies were tested for their target mycotoxins and for cross-reactivity with relevant metabolites and masked mycotoxins. In the triplex format, low levels of cross-interactions between the assays occurred at irrelevant high levels only. All three assays were influenced by the sample matrix of cereal extracts to some extent, and matrix-matched calibrations are recommended for quantitative screening purposes. In a preliminary in-house validation, the triplex assay was found to be reproducible, sensitive and sufficiently accurate for the quantitative screening at ML level. The triplex assay was critically compared to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry using reference materials and fortified blank material. Results for the quantification of ochratoxin A and zearalenone were in good agreement. However, the fumonisin assay was, due to overestimation, only suitable for qualitative judgements. Both flow cytometer platforms (Luminex 100 and FLEXMAP 3D) performed similar with respect to sensitivity with the advantages of a higher sample throughput and response range of the FLEXMAP 3D and lower cost of the Luminex 100.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 06/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fusarium head blight, caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat. We developed near-isogenic lines (NILs) differing in the two strongest known F. graminearum resistance quantitative trait loci (QTLs), Qfhs.ndsu-3BS (also known as resistance gene Fhb1) and Qfhs.ifa-5A, which are located on the short arm of chromosome 3B and on chromosome 5A, respectively. These NILs showing different levels of resistance were used to identify transcripts that are changed significantly in a QTL-specific manner in response to the pathogen and between mock-inoculated samples. After inoculation with F. graminearum spores, 16 transcripts showed a significantly different response for Fhb1 and 352 for Qfhs.ifa-5A. Notably, we identified a lipid transfer protein which is constitutively at least 50-fold more abundant in plants carrying the resistant allele of Qfhs.ifa-5A. In addition to this candidate gene associated with Qfhs.ifa-5A, we identified a uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glycosyltransferase gene, designated TaUGT12887, exhibiting a positive difference in response to the pathogen in lines harbouring both QTLs relative to lines carrying only the Qfhs.ifa-5A resistance allele, suggesting Fhb1 dependence of this transcript. Yet, this dependence was observed only in the NIL with already higher basal resistance. The complete cDNA of TaUGT12887 was reconstituted from available wheat genomic sequences, and a synthetic recoded gene was expressed in a toxin-sensitive strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This gene conferred deoxynivalenol resistance, albeit much weaker than that observed with the previously characterized barley HvUGT13248.
    Molecular Plant Pathology 06/2013; · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study reports on the detailed investigation of human deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) in vivo metabolism through the analysis of urine samples obtained from one volunteer following a naturally contaminated diet containing 138μg DON and 10μg ZEN over a period of four days. Based on the mycotoxin intake and the concentrations of mycotoxin conjugates in urine, a mass balance was established. The average rates of DON excretion and glucuronidation were determined to be 68 and 76%, respectively. The investigation of formed glucuronides revealed DON-15-glucuronide as main conjugation product besides DON-3-glucuronide. Furthermore, for the first time in human urine a third DON-glucuronide was detected and the fate of ingested masked DON forms (3-acetyl-DON and DON-3-glucoside) was preliminary assessed. The mean excretion rate of ZEN was determined to be 9.4%. ZEN was mainly present in its glucuronide form and in some samples ZEN-14-glucuronide was directly determined 3-10h after exposure. For the first time concrete figures have become available for the excretion pattern of DON and ZEN-glucuronides throughout a day, the comparison of total DON in 24h and first morning urine samples and the urinary excretion rate of total ZEN in humans following exposure through naturally contaminated food. Therefore, valuable preliminary information has been obtained through the chosen experimental approach although the study involved only one single individual and needs to be confirmed in larger monitoring studies. The presented experiment contributes to a better understanding of human DON and ZEN in vivo metabolism and thereby supports advanced exposure and risk assessment to increase food safety and examine the relationship between these mycotoxins and potentially associated chronic diseases in the future.
    Toxicology Letters 04/2013; · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant small molecule UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT) glycosylate a vast number of endogenous substances but also act in detoxification of metabolites produced by plant pathogenic microorganisms. The ability to inactivate the Fusarium graminearum mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) into DON-3-O-glucoside is crucial for resistance of cereals. We analyzed the UGT gene family of the monocot model species Brachypodium distachyon and functionally characterized two gene clusters containing putative orthologs of previously identified DON-detoxification genes from Arabidopsis thaliana and barley. Analysis of transcription showed that UGTs encoded in both clusters are highly inducible by DON and expressed at much higher levels upon infection with a wild-type DON-producing F. graminearum strain compared to infection with a mutant deficient in DON production. Expression of these genes in a toxin sensitive strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed that only two B. distachyon UGTs encoded by members of a cluster of six genes homologous to the DON-inactivating barley HvUGT13248 were able to convert DON into DON-3-O-glucoside. Also, a single copy gene from Sorghum bicolor orthologous to this cluster and one of three putative orthologs of rice exhibit this ability. Seemingly, the UGT genes undergo rapid evolution and changes in copy number, making it difficult to identify orthologs with conserved substrate specificity.
    Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 04/2013; · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An improved and reproducible procedure for the preparation of four different glycosides of the mycotoxins α- and β-zearalenol (α,β-ZEL), both metabolites of the Fusarium toxin zearalenone (ZEN), is reported. These conjugated or masked mycotoxins are formed during phase II metabolism in plants (glucosides) or animals and humans (glucuronides). Improved regioselective Königs-Knorr glucuronidation was applied to ZEN followed by reduction of the keto group of the mycotoxin, leading to α- and β-configuration of ZEL and also to a partial reduction of the glucuronic acid methyl ester to obtain the corresponding glucosides. After deprotection of the sugar moiety, α- and β-zearalenol-14-β,d-glucuronide as well as the corresponding glucosides were isolated at once using preparative HPLC. The reduction step was studied under different reaction conditions to finally develop an optimized and also tunable procedure for the first simultaneous preparation of both, glucosides and glucuronides of a xenobiotic substance in reasonable amounts to be used as reference materials for bioanalytical and toxicological investigations.
    Carbohydrate research 03/2013; 373C:59-63. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A multi-target method for the determination of 191 fungal metabolites in almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pistachios was developed. The method includes all mycotoxins regulated in the European Union and mycotoxins regularly found in food. After extraction with an acidified acetonitrile water mixture, the raw extract was diluted and injected directly into the UHPLC-MS/MS system. In two chromatographic runs, analysis was performed in positive and in negative ionisation mode. The method was in-house validated for the most important 65 analytes in these four commodities. Apparent recoveries between 80 and 120 % were obtained for about half of the analyte-matrix combinations. Good repeatabilities (standard deviations < 10 %) were achieved for the vast majority (83 %) of all cases. Only in 6 % of all combinations did the standard deviations exceed 15 %. Matrix effects, arising during electrospray ionisation, significantly influenced the determination. For instance, signal suppression was observed for several early-eluting analytes and also signal enhancement up to 295 % for physcion in peanuts was determined. Concerning extraction recovery, 94 % of the analyte-matrix combinations showed values higher than 50 %. Lower limits of quantification ranged between 0.04 μg kg-1 for enniatin B3 in peanuts and 500 μg kg-1 for HC toxin in hazelnuts. Additionally, the applicability of the developed method was demonstrated through the analysis of 53 naturally contaminated nut samples from Austria and Turkey. Overall, 40 toxins were quantified; the most frequently found mycotoxins were beauvericin (79 %), enniatin B (62 %) and macrosporin (57 %). In the most contaminated hazelnut sample, 26 different fungal metabolites were detected.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 03/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical sulfation of β-resorcylic acid esters was investigated by applying state of the art procedures for the synthesis and deprotection of 2,2,2-trichloroethyl protected sulfates as appropriate intermediates. The selectivity of monosulfation was studied and reaction optimization was performed considering the effect of the solvent, different bases as well as the sulfation reagent itself. Finally the obtained protocols were applied for the first synthesis of zearalenone-14-sulfate (ammonium salt), an important conjugated (masked) mycotoxin, as reference material for further investigations in the field of bioanalytics as well as toxicology.
    Tetrahedron Letters 01/2013; 54(25):3290-3293. · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Synlett 01/2013; 24(14):1830-1834. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, a total of 1468 feed samples collected in the Asian-Oceania region during the year 2010 were analysed for the presence of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2, fumonisin B1 and B2, zearalenone, ochratoxin A and deoxynivalenol. The samples tested were diverse, ranging from cereals such as corn, wheat and rice to processing by-products, namely soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains with solubles and other fodder, including straw, silage and finished feed. The samples were analysed by using high liquid chromatography with UV detector, postcolumn fluorescence derivatization and mass spectrometer after prior clean-up. The positive correlation between the occurrence of aflatoxins B1 and B2 and fumonisins B1 and B2 was very high, as was to be expected. Both correlation between the Fusarium mycotoxins deoxynivalenol and zearalenone and the storage mycotoxins ochratoxin A and aflatoxins proved to be low. The correlations between individual mycotoxins depended strongly on the commodity itself. These data indicate that the contamination of feedstuffs with only one mycotoxin is rare and that mycotoxins occur more frequently together, representing a risk for domestic livestock.
    Animal Feed Science and Technology 12/2012; 178(s 3–4):190–197. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An untargeted screening strategy for the detection of biotransformation products of xenobiotics using stable isotopic labelling (SIL) and liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) is reported. The organism of interest is treated with a mixture of labelled and non-labelled precursor and samples are analysed by LC-HRMS. Raw data are processed with the recently developed MetExtract software for the automated extraction of corresponding peak pairs. The SIL-assisted approach is exemplified by the metabolisation of the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) in planta. Flowering ears were inoculated with 100 μg of a 1 + 1 (v/v) mixture of non-labelled and fully labelled DON. Subsequent sample preparation, LC-HRMS measurements and data processing revealed a total of 57 corresponding peak pairs, which originated from ten metabolites. Besides the known DON and DON-3-glucoside, which were confirmed by measurement of authentic standards, eight further DON-biotransformation products were found by the untargeted screening approach. Based on a mass deviation of less than ±5 ppm and MS/MS measurements, one of these products was annotated as DON-glutathione (GSH) conjugate, which is described here for the first time for wheat. Our data further suggest that two DON-GSH-related metabolites, the processing products DON-S-cysteine and DON-S-cysteinyl-glycine and five unknown DON conjugates were formed in planta. Future MS/MS measurements shall reveal the molecular structures of the detected conjugates in more detail.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 10/2012; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge on plant metabolites of mycotoxins, also called masked mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, toxic to human and animals. Toxigenic fungi often grow on edible plants, thus contaminating food and feed. Plants, as living organisms, can alter the chemical structure of mycotoxins as part of their defence against xenobiotics. The extractable conjugated or non-extractable bound mycotoxins formed remain present in the plant tissue but are currently neither routinely screened for in food nor regulated by legislation, thus they may be considered masked. Fusarium mycotoxins (deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, nivalenol, fusarenon-X, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, fusaric acid) are prone to metabolisation or binding by plants, but transformation of other mycotoxins by plants (ochratoxin A, patulin, destruxins) has also been described. Toxicological data are scarce, but several studies highlight the potential threat to consumer safety from these substances. In particular, the possible hydrolysis of masked mycotoxins back to their toxic parents during mammalian digestion raises concerns. Dedicated chapters of this article address plant metabolism as well as the occurrence of masked mycotoxins in food, analytical aspects for their determination, toxicology and their impact on stakeholders.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 10/2012; · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beer is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. Malted cereal grains are among the basic ingredients and hence mycotoxin contamination might occur. Previous studies reported the presence of the Fusarium mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) and 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3ADON), as well as of the masked mycotoxin deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside (D3G) in beer. In the present survey, 374 beer samples from 38 countries with a focus on Austrian (156) and German (64) beers were analysed for the presence of D3G, DON and 3ADON. Beers were assigned to the following six categories: pale (217), wheat (46), dark (47), bock (20), nonalcoholic beers (19) and shandies (25). In total, 348 and 289 beers (93 and 77%, respectively) contained D3G and DON at the levels above the limit of detection, whereas 3ADON was not detected in any of the samples. Average concentrations of all beers were 6.9 µg L(-1) for D3G and 8.4 µg L(-1) in the case of DON. Nonalcoholic beers and shandies showed the lowest contaminations, 1.5 and 3.2 µg L(-1) for D3G and 2.7 and 4.4 µg L(-1) for DON, respectively. In bock beers characterised by a higher gravity, a significant trichothecene load of 14.8 µg L(-1) D3G and 12.4 µg L(-1) DON was found. The highest contamination (81 µg L(-1) D3G, 89 µg L(-1) DON) was detected in a pale beer from Austria, underlining the importance of this study for food safety. The molar D3G to DON ratio ranged between 0.11 and 1.25 and was 0.56 on average. Concluding, the average contamination of beer is not of toxicological concern for moderate beer drinkers. However, in the case of heavy beer drinkers, beer consumption may considerably contribute to the overall intake of DON, which might even lead to exceeding the maximum tolerable limits established for this Fusarium toxin.
    Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment 10/2012;

Publication Stats

1k Citations
180.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Vienna University of Technology
      • Institut für Angewandte Synthesechemie
      Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2003–2012
    • University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna
      • • Department für Agrarbiotechnologie (IFA-Tulln)
      • • Analytikzentrum
      • • Center for Applied Genetics
      Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2009
    • Institute of Chemical Technology Prague
      • Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
      Praha, Hlavni mesto Praha, Czech Republic
  • 2007
    • Poznań University of Life Sciences
      • Department of Chemistry
      Posen, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland