Alternative isolation protocol for desulfo and zwitterionic cylindrospermopsin alkaloids and comparison of their toxicity in hepG2 cells

The term cylindrospermopsins (CYNs) refers to a structurally related class of cyanobacterial metabolites comprised of a tricyclic guanidine group and a hydroxymethyluracil moiety. Most reports in environmental aquatic samples refer to cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and reports on other CYN alkaloids are scarce, due, in part, to a lack of versatile isolation protocols. Thus, using commercially available solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridges, we optimized an isolation protocol for the complete recovery of CYN, 7-deoxy-cylindrospermopsin (7D-CYN) and 7-deoxy-desulfo-cylindrospermopsin (7D-desulfo-CYN) from the same aliquot. The isolation protocol was adaptable depending on the nature of the sample (solid biomass, culture broth or environmental water sample) and tolerates up to 4 L of dense culture broth or 400 mg of lyophilized biomass. To quantitate the CYN alkaloids, we validated an LC-DAD-MS2 method, which takes advantage of the UV absorption of the uracil group (λ 262 nm). Using electrospray ionization (ESI) in a positive ion mode, the high-resolution MS1 data confirms the presence of the protonated alkaloids, and the MS2 fragment assignment is reported as complementary proof of the molecular structure of the CYNs. We isolated three CYN alkaloids with different water solubility using the same lyophilized sample, with a purity that ranged from 95% to 99%. The biological activity of the purified CYNs, along with a synthetic degradation product of CYN (desulfo-cylindrospermopsin), was evaluated by assessing necrosis and apoptosis in vitro using flow cytometry. CYN’s lethal potency in HepG2 cells was greater than the other analogs, due to the presence of all four functional groups: guanidine, uracil, C-7 hydroxyl and the sulfate residue
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LC-MS2;  LC-DAD;  cylindrospermopsin;  7-deoxy-cylindrospermopsin;  7-deoxy-desulfo-cylindrospermopsin;  cyanotoxins;  HepG2 cells;  biomass;  culture broth

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Blanco CAG, Dörr FA, Albuquerque R, Onuki J, Pinto E. Alternative isolation protocol for desulfo and zwitterionic cylindrospermopsin alkaloids and comparison of their toxicity in hepG2 cells. Molecules. 2020 Jul;25(13)3027. doi:10.3390/molecules25133027.
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