Cyclopeptide toxins of lethal amanitas: Compositions, distribution and phylogenetic implication

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Lethal amanitas (Amanita sect. Phalloideae) are responsible for 90% of all fatal mushroom poisonings. Since 2000, more than ten new lethal Amanita species have been discovered and some of them had caused severe mushroom poisonings in China. However, the contents and distribution of cyclopeptides in these lethal mushrooms remain poorly known. In this study, the diversity of major cyclopeptide toxins in seven Amanita species from Eastern Asia and three species from Europe and North America were systematically analyzed, and a new approach to inferring phylogenetic relationships using cyclopeptide profile was evaluated for the first time. The results showed that there were diversities of the cyclopeptides among lethal Amanita species, and cyclopeptides from Amanita rimosa and Amanita fuligineoides were reported for the first time. The amounts of amatoxins in East Asian Amanita species were significantly higher than those in European and North American species. The analysis of distribution of amatoxins and phallotoxins in various Amanita species demonstrated that the content of phallotoxins was higher than that of amatoxins in Amanita phalloides and Amanita virosa. In contrast, the content of phallotoxins was significantly lower than that of amatoxins in all East Asian lethal Amanita species tested. However, the distribution of amatoxins and phallotoxins in different tissues showed the same tendency. Eight cyclopeptides and three unknown compounds were identified using cyclopeptide standards and high-resolution MS. Based on the cyclopeptide profiles, phylogenetic relationships of lethal amanitas were inferred through a dendrogram generated by UPGMA method. The results showed high similarity to the phylogeny established previously based on the multi-locus DNA sequences.

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