A multidisciplinary approach disclosing unexplored Aflatoxin B1 roles in severe impairment of vitamin D mechanisms of action

Cell Biol Toxicol. 2022 Sep 6. doi: 10.1007/s10565-022-09752-y. Online ahead of print.


Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), produced by fungi of the genus Aspergillus, is the most toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxin among the classes of aflatoxins. Previous research showed that AFB1 affects vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression. In the present study, integrated computational and experimental studies were carried out to investigate how AFB1 can interfere with Vitamin D signalling. A competitive antagonism of AFB1 toward RXRα and VDR was hypothesized by comparing the docked complex of AFB1/RXRα and AFB1/VDR ligand-binding domain (LBD) with the X-ray structures of RXRα and VDR bound to known ligands. Accordingly, we demonstrated that AFB1 can affect vitamin D-mediated transcriptional activation of VDR by impairing the formation of protein complexes containing both VDR-RXRα and RXRα/RAR and affecting the subcellular localization of VDR and RXRα. As a whole, our data indicate that AFB1 can interfere with different molecular pathways triggered by vitamin D with an antagonistic mechanism of action.

PMID:36066700 | DOI:10.1007/s10565-022-09752-y

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