Sep 01

Paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates: a molecular overview.

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Paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates: a molecular overview.

J Proteomics. 2015 Aug 24;

Authors: Wang DZ, Zhang SF, Zhang Y, Lin L

Abstract
Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are a group of water soluble neurotoxic alkaloids produced by two different kingdoms of life, prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic dinoflagellates. Owing to the wide distribution of these organisms, these toxic secondary metabolites account for paralytic shellfish poisonings around the world. On the other hand, their specific binding to voltage-gated sodium channels makes these toxins potentially useful in pharmacological and toxicological applications. Much effort has been devoted to the biosynthetic mechanism of PSTs, and gene clusters encoding 26 proteins involved in PST biosynthesis have been unveiled in several cyanobacterial species. Functional analysis of toxin genes indicates that PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria is a complex process including biosynthesis, regulation, modification and export. However, less is known about the toxin biosynthesis in dinoflagellates owing to our poor understanding of the massive genome and unique chromosomal characteristics [1]. So far, few genes involved in PST biosynthesis have been identified from dinoflagellates. Moreover, the proteins involved in PST production are far from being totally explored. Thus, the origin and evolution of PST biosynthesis in these two kingdoms is still controversial. In this review, we summarize the recent progress on the characterization of genes and proteins involved in PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, and discuss the standing evolutionary hypotheses concerning the origin of toxin biosynthesis as well as future perspectives in PST biosynthesis.
SCIENTIFIC QUESTION: Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are a group of potent neurotoxins which specifically block voltage-gated sodium channels in excitable cells and result in paralytic shellfish poisonings (PSPs) around the world. Two different kingdoms of life, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates are able to produce PSTs. However, in contrast with cyanobacteria, our understanding of PST biosynthesis in dinoflagellates is extremely limited owing to their unique features. The origin and evolution of PST biosynthesis in these two kingdoms is still controversial.
TECHNICAL SIGNIFICANCE: High-throughput omics technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics provide powerful tools for the study of PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, and have shown their powerful potential with regard to revealing genes and proteins involved in PST biosynthesis in two kingdoms.
SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: This review summarizes the recent progress in PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates with focusing on the novel insights from omics technologies, and discusses the evolutionary relationship of toxin biosynthesis genes between these two kingdoms.

PMID: 26316331 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]