Microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin induced alterations in chromatin organization of plant cells

Csaba Máthé, Márta M-Hamvas, Gábor Vasas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Citations (Scopus)


Cyanobacteria produce metabolites with diverse bioactivities, structures and pharmacological properties. The effects of microcystins (MCYs), a family of peptide type protein-phosphatase inhibitors and cylindrospermopsin (CYN), an alkaloid type of protein synthesis blocker will be discussed in this review. We are focusing mainly on cyanotoxin-induced changes of chromatin organization and their possible cellular mechanisms. The particularities of plant cells explain the importance of such studies. Preprophase bands (PPBs) are premitotic cytoskeletal structures important in the determination of plant cell division plane. Phragmoplasts are cytoskeletal structures involved in plant cytokinesis. Both cyanotoxins induce the formation of multipolar spindles and disrupted phragmoplasts, leading to abnormal sister chromatid segregation during mitosis. Thus, MCY and CYN are probably inducing alterations of chromosome number. MCY induces programmed cell death: chromatin condensation, nucleus fragmentation, necrosis, alterations of nuclease and protease enzyme activities and patterns. The above effects may be related to elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or disfunctioning of microtubule associated proteins. Specific effects: MCY-LR induces histone H3 hyperphosphorylation leading to incomplete chromatid segregation and the formation of micronuclei. CYN induces the formation of split or double PPB directly related to protein synthesis inhibition. Cyanotoxins are powerful tools in the study of plant cell organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3689-3717
Number of pages29
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Cyanobacterial toxin
  • Cylindrospermopsin
  • Microcystin
  • Microtubules
  • Plant chromatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery

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