Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Food and Indoor Air Isolated Bacillus Non-Protein Toxins:

Structures, Physico-Chemical Properties and Mechanisms of Effects on Eukaryotic Cells

Raimo Mikkola

Doctoral dissertation, December 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Microbiology.

We report here the structures and properties of heat-stable, non-protein, and mammalian cell-toxic compounds produced by spore-forming bacilli isolated from indoor air of buildings and from food. Little information is available on the effects and occurrence of heat-stable non-protein toxins produced by bacilli in moisture-damaged buildings. Bacilli emit spores that move in the air and can serve as the carriers of toxins, in a manner similar to that of the spores of toxic fungi found in contaminated indoor air. Bacillus spores in food cause problems because they tolerate the temperatures applied in food manufacture and the spores later initiate growth when food storage conditions are more favorable.

Detection of the toxic compounds in Bacillus is based on using the change in mobility of boar spermatozoa as an indicator of toxic exposure. GC, LC, MS, and nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopy were used for purification, detection, quantitation, and analysis of the properties and structures of the compounds. Toxicity and the mechanisms of toxicity of the compounds were studied using boar spermatozoa, feline lung cells, human neural cells, and mitochondria isolated from rat liver. The ionophoric properties were studied using the BLM (black-lipid membrane) method.

One novel toxin, forming ion channels permeant to K+ > Na+ > Ca2+, was found and named amylosin. It is produced by B. amyloliquefaciens isolated from indoor air of moisture-damaged buildings. Amylosin was purified with an RP-HPLC and a monoisotopic mass of 1197 Da was determined with ESI-IT-MS. Furthermore, acid hydrolysis of amylosin followed by analysis of the amino acids with the GS-MS showed that it was a peptide. The presence of a chromophoric polyene group was found using a NMR spectroscopy. The quantification method developed for amylosin based on RP-HPLC-UV, using the macrolactone polyene, amphotericin B (MW 924), as a reference compound.

The B. licheniformis strains isolated from a food poisoning case produced a lipopeptide, lichenysin A, that ruptured mammalian cell membranes and was purified with a LC. Lichenysin A was identified by its protonated molecules and sodium- and potassium- cationized molecules with MALDI-TOF-MS. Its protonated forms were observed at m/z 1007, 1021 and 1035. The amino acids of lichenysin A were analyzed with ESI-TQ-MS/MS and, after acid hydrolysis, the stereoisomeric forms of the amino acids with RP-HPLC.

The indoor air isolates of the strain of B. amyloliquefaciens produced not only amylosin but also lipopeptides: the cell membrane-damaging surfactin and the fungicidal fengycin. They were identified with ESI-IT-MS observing their protonated molecules, the sodium- and potassium-cationized molecules and analysing the MS/MS spectra. The protonated molecules of surfactin and fengycin showed m/z values of 1009, 1023, and 1037 and 1450, 1463, 1493, and 1506, respectively.

Cereulide (MW 1152) was purified with RP-HPLC from a food poisoning strain of B. cereus. Cereulide was identified with ESI-TQ-MS according to the protonated molecule observed at m/z 1154 and the ammonium-, sodium- and potassium-cationized molecules observed at m/z 1171, 1176, and 1192, respectively. The fragment ions of the MS/MS spectrum obtained from the protonated molecule of cereulide at m/z 1154 were also interpreted. We developed a quantification method for cereulide, using RP-HPLC-UV and valinomycin (MW 1110, which structurally resembles cereulide) as the reference compound. Furthermore, we showed empirically, using the BLM method, that the emetic toxin cereulide is a specific and effective potassium ionophore of whose toxicity target is especially the mitochondria.

The title page of the publication

This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.

© University of Helsinki 2006

Last updated 20.11.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki