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      Algal Toxic Compounds and Their Aeroterrestrial, Airborne and other Extremophilic Producers with Attention to Soil and Plant Contamination: A Review


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          The review summarizes the available knowledge on toxins and their producers from rather disparate algal assemblages of aeroterrestrial, airborne and other versatile extreme environments (hot springs, deserts, ice, snow, caves, etc.) and on phycotoxins as contaminants of emergent concern in soil and plants. There is a growing body of evidence that algal toxins and their producers occur in all general types of extreme habitats, and cyanobacteria/cyanoprokaryotes dominate in most of them. Altogether, 55 toxigenic algal genera (47 cyanoprokaryotes) were enlisted, and our analysis showed that besides the “standard” toxins, routinely known from different waterbodies (microcystins, nodularins, anatoxins, saxitoxins, cylindrospermopsins, BMAA, etc.), they can produce some specific toxic compounds. Whether the toxic biomolecules are related with the harsh conditions on which algae have to thrive and what is their functional role may be answered by future studies. Therefore, we outline the gaps in knowledge and provide ideas for further research, considering, from one side, the health risk from phycotoxins on the background of the global warming and eutrophication and, from the other side, the current surge of interest which phycotoxins provoke due to their potential as novel compounds in medicine, pharmacy, cosmetics, bioremediation, agriculture and all aspects of biotechnological implications in human life.

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          Life in extreme environments.

          Each recent report of liquid water existing elsewhere in the Solar System has reverberated through the international press and excited the imagination of humankind. Why? Because in the past few decades we have come to realize that where there is liquid water on Earth, virtually no matter what the physical conditions, there is life. What we previously thought of as insurmountable physical and chemical barriers to life, we now see as yet another niche harbouring 'extremophiles'. This realization, coupled with new data on the survival of microbes in the space environment and modelling of the potential for transfer of life between celestial bodies, suggests that life could be more common than previously thought. Here we examine critically what it means to be an extremophile, and the implications of this for evolution, biotechnology and especially the search for life in the Universe.
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            Contribution of cryptogamic covers to the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen

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              Cyanobacterial microcystin-LR is a potent and specific inhibitor of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A from both mammals and higher plants.

              The cyclic heptapeptide, microcystin-LR, inhibits protein phosphatases 1 (PP1) and 2A (PP2A) with Ki values below 0.1 nM. Protein phosphatase 2B is inhibited 1000-fold less potently, while six other phosphatases and eight protein kinases tested are unaffected. These results are strikingly similar to those obtained with the tumour promoter okadaic acid. We establish that okadaic acid prevents the binding of microcystin-LR to PP2A, and that protein inhibitors 1 and 2 prevent the binding of microcystin-LR to PP1. We discuss the possibility that inhibition of PP1 and PP2A accounts for the extreme toxicity of microcystin-LR, and indicate its potential value in the detection and analysis of protein kinases and phosphatases.

                Author and article information

                Toxins (Basel)
                Toxins (Basel)
                29 April 2021
                May 2021
                : 13
                : 5
                : 322
                [1 ]Institut für Botanik der Universität Innsbruck, Sternwartestrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria; georg.gaertner@ 123456uibk.ac.at
                [2 ]Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 8 blvd. Dragan Tsankov, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria; mstoyneva@ 123456uni-sofia.bg
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: buzunov@ 123456uni-sofia.bg
                Author information
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 05 April 2021
                : 27 April 2021

                Molecular medicine
                algae,caves,cyanobacteria,cyanotoxins,cyanopeptides,deserts,human health risk,hypersaline habitats,phycotoxins,thermal springs


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