Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 207–215 | Cite as

Antioxidant enzymes stimulation in Aspergillus parasiticus by Lentinula edodes inhibits aflatoxin production

  • M. Reverberi
  • A. A. Fabbri
  • S. Zjalic
  • A. Ricelli
  • F. Punelli
  • C. Fanelli
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Biosynthesis of aflatoxins, toxic metabolites produced by Aspergillus parasiticus, is correlated to the fungal oxidative stress and cell ageing. In this paper, the mechanism underlying the aflatoxin-inhibiting effect of the Lentinula edodes culture filtrates was studied by analysing their anti-oxidant activity and β-glucan content. Mushroom β-glucans are pharmacologically active compounds stimulating anti-oxidant responses in animal cells. L. edodes lyophilised filtrates stimulate A. parasiticus anti-oxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase) and aflatoxin inhibition was better correlated with β-glucan content than with anti-oxidant activity of the filtrates. RT-PCR analyses on treated mycelia showed a delay in the activation of aflR, and norA, genes of aflatoxin cluster and a synchronous activation of hsf2-like, a homologue of a yeast transcription factor involved in oxidative stress responses. The first evidence of hsf2-like in A. parasiticus and its activation during aflatoxin biosynthesis is reported. L. edodes filtrates could play a role as external stimulus affecting the anti-oxidant status in the fungal cell that, in turn, leads to aflatoxin inhibition. In the fungal cell, β-glucans present in the filtrates could stimulate the activation of transcription factors related to anti-oxidant response and anti-oxidant enzyme activity with a contemporaneous delay of aflatoxin genes transcription, which led to a marked reduction of aflatoxin production. This research suggests new perspectives to set suitable strategies against aflatoxins and L. edodes could be considered a promising tool.



This work was supported by a grant from the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (MIUIR) 2002.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Reverberi
    • 1
  • A. A. Fabbri
    • 1
  • S. Zjalic
    • 1
  • A. Ricelli
    • 2
  • F. Punelli
    • 1
  • C. Fanelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia VegetaleUniversità degli Studi “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari-CNRBariItaly

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