Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA

Institute for Ethnomedicine, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kalaheo, HI 96741, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 05/2005; 102(14):5074-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0501526102
Source: PubMed


Cyanobacteria can generate molecules hazardous to human health, but production of the known cyanotoxins is taxonomically sporadic. For example, members of a few genera produce hepatotoxic microcystins, whereas production of hepatotoxic nodularins appears to be limited to a single genus. Production of known neurotoxins has also been considered phylogenetically unpredictable. We report here that a single neurotoxin, beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine, may be produced by all known groups of cyanobacteria, including cyanobacterial symbionts and free-living cyanobacteria. The ubiquity of cyanobacteria in terrestrial, as well as freshwater, brackish, and marine environments, suggests a potential for wide-spread human exposure.

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    • "The extraction procedure was based on methods previously described for extraction of free BMAA (e.g. Cox et al., 2005). For detection, a new HILIC UHPLCeMS/MS method was developed based on direct detection of BMAA, i.e. without using derivatization. "
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    ABSTRACT: The results of this study imply that β-methylamino-alanine (BMAA) obtained from extracts of blue mussels from the Swedish west coast is neither free nor protein bound. The results were obtained by separation (precipitation and ultrafiltration) of low and high molecular weight compounds from neutral extracts of blue mussels, and treatment of these extracts with low and high concentrations of acids, varying time and temperature. The main portion of BMAA was obtained from the low molecular weight fraction, released or formed at 95 °C in dilute acids. The measured amount of BMAA did not increase by strong acid treatment. Lysine was used as reference and was only released at significant amounts when treating the high molecular weight fraction with concentrated acid. The results also indicated that breakage of peptide bonds was not involved in the formation/release of BMAA in these extracts unless any BMAA peptide bond would be significantly more susceptible to dilute acid than e.g. the monitored lysine peptide bond. BMAA was measured using isotope dilution and detection of the underivatized compound by HILIC-UHPLC-MS/MS (Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography, Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography, tandem Mass Spectrometry). The findings might add to the understanding of conflicting data in the literature regarding the occurrence of BMAA, and have implications for studies on possible biomagnification of BMAA in the food chain and bioavailability from food.
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    • "Deregulation of PP activity can lead to the changes in signal transduction and disturbed balance in cellular homeostasis. In Baltic cyanobacteria, two neurotoxic metabolites have also been detected: anatoxin-a (Rantala-Ylinen et al., 2011) and β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) (Cox et al., 2005; Jonasson et al., 2010). Anatoxin-a irreversibly binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor . "
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    ABSTRACT: Cyanobacteria are effective producers of bioactive metabolites, including both acute toxins and potential pharmaceuticals. In the current work, the biological activity of 27 strains of Baltic cyanobacteria representing different taxonomic groups and chemotypes were tested in a wide variety of assays. The cyanobacteria showed strain-specific differences in the induced effects. The extracts from Nodularia spumigena CCNP1401 were active in the highest number of tests, including protease and phosphatase inhibition assays. Four strains from Nostocales and four from Oscillatoriales increased proliferation of mitogen-stimulated human T cells. In antimicrobial assays, Phormidium sp. CCNP1317 (Oscillatoriales) strongly inhibited the growth of six fouling Gammaproteobacteria. The growth of monocotyl Sorghum saccharatum was inhibited by both toxin-producing and ‘non-toxic’ strains. The Baltic cyanobacteria were also found to be a rich source of commercially important enzymes. Among the 19 enzymatic activities tested, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, esterase (C4 and C8), and naphthol-AS-BI-phosphohydrolase were particularly common. In the cyanobacterial extracts, different peptides which may have been responsible for the observed effects were identified using LC-MS/MS. Their structures were classified to microcystins, nodularins, anabaenopeptins, cyanopeptolins, aeruginosins, spumigins and nostocyclopeptides.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · European Journal of Phycology
    • ".BMAAanditsisomersincultivatedcyanobacteriaandother microalgae Cyanobacteriahavebeenthefirstorganismssuspectedtobe BMAA-producers(Coxetal.,2005).Thedominanceofdiatomsand dinoflagellatesinsomemarineecosystems,concurrentlywiththe occurrenceofBMAAinmollusks,hasledsomegroupstoinvesti- gatethepotentialproductionofBMAAbytheseabundantmicroalgalspecies(Jiangetal .,2014a;JiangandIlag,2014;Lageetal., 2014),increasingthenumberofpotentialBMAA-producing microalgae.WescreenedfoursstrainsofthecyanobacteriaSynechococcus ,previouslyisolatedfromThaulagoonaswellasseveral other,emblematicprotistsisolatedfromthislagoon:O.tauri,and twostrainsofA.catenella.AsdiatomswereabundantinThau lagoon,includingseveralreportsofChaetocerossp.,wealso "
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    ABSTRACT: The neurotoxin BMAA (β-N-methylamino-l-alanine) and its isomer DAB (2,4-diaminobutyric acid) have been detected in seafood worldwide, including in Thau lagoon (French Mediterranean Sea). A cluster of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease associated with BMAA, has also been observed in this region. Mussels, periphyton (i.e. biofilms attached to mussels) and plankton were sampled between July 2013 and October 2014, and analyzed using HILIC-MS/MS. BMAA, DAB and AEG (N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine) were found in almost all the samples of the lagoon. BMAA and DAB were present at 0.58 and 0.83, 2.6 and 3.3, 4.0 and 7.2 μg g(-1) dry weight in plankton collected with nets, periphyton and mussels, respectively. Synechococcus sp., Ostreococcus tauri, Alexandrium catenella and eight species of diatoms were cultured and screened for BMAA and analogs. While Synechococcus sp., O. tauri and A. catenella did not produce BMAA under our culture conditions, four diatoms species contained both BMAA and DAB. Hence, diatoms may be a source of BMAA for mussels. Unlike other toxins produced by microalgae, BMAA and DAB were detected in significant amounts in tissues other than digestive glands in mussels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Marine environmental research
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