Evaluation of genotoxic potential of neurotoxin anatoxin-a with the use of umuC test.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate genotoxicity of anatoxin-a, cyanotoxin of neurotoxic activity. Additionally, other frequently detected cyanotoxin of previously described genotoxic potential, microcystin-LR, was used at the same concentrations, as well as the mixture of both toxins, anatoxin-a and microcystin-LR.

DESIGN: Genotoxicity of the toxins was determined with the use of the umuC assay, in which the induction and expression of the umuC - lacZ reporter gene was assessed. The test was conducted on Salmonella typhimurium TA 1535/pSK1002 strain, with and without metabolic transformation. The toxin concentrations were 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 µg/ml. The exposure time was 2 h.

RESULTS: The highest inefficient concentration of anatoxin-a without metabolic transformation was 0.25 µg/ml, of microcystin-LR was 0.5 µg/ml and in case of the toxin mixture all used concentrations induced the umuC gene. When S9 fraction was added to the samples, no effects were detected.

CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first report on genotoxic effects of anatoxin-a. Although the study is preliminary and needs further research, however, indicates the new potential activity of the toxin, as well as the possible increase of genotoxicity of other cyanotoxins, more stable in the environment, e.g. microcystin-LR.

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