Fusarium moniliforme (FM) is a major fungal pathogen of corn and is involved with stalk rot disease. FM is widely spread throughout the world, including the United States. Most strains of FM produce several mycotoxins, the most prominent of which is called fumonisin. Recent epidemiological studies indicated that ingestion of fumonisin correlates with a higher incidence of esophageal cancer in Southern and Northern Africa and China. Furthermore, fumonisin causes a neurodegenerative disease in horses, induces hepatic cancer in rats, and induces pulmonary edema in swine. Considering that high levels of fumonisin have been detected in healthy and diseased corn grown in the United States, fumonisin may pose a health threat to humans and livestock animals. Structurally, fumonisin resembles sphingolipids which are present in the membranes of animal and plant cells. At the present time, very little is known concerning the mechanism by which fumonisin elicits its carcinogenic effect Our studies indicate that fumonisin represses expression of protein kinase C and AP-1-dependent transcription. In contrast, fumonisin stimulated a simple promoter containing a single cyclic AMP response element Since fumonisin did not alter protein kinase A activity, it appears that cyclic AMP response element activation was independent of protein kinase A. It is hypothesized that the ability of fumonisin to alter signal transduction pathways plays a role in carcinogenesis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Apr 15 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research