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OMICs Approaches In Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxins Research

Alexandre Campos, Marisa Freitas, André M. de Almeida, José Carlos Martins, Dany Domínguez-Pérez, Hugo Osório, Vitor Vasconcelos, Pedro Reis Costa

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Diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) are among the most prevalent marine toxins in Europe’s and in other temperate coastal regions. These toxins are produced by several dinoflagellate species; however, the contamination of the marine trophic chain is often attributed to species of the genus Dinophysis. This group of toxins, constituted by okadaic acid (OA) and analogous molecules (dinophysistoxins, DTXs), are highly harmful to humans, causing severe poisoning symptoms caused by the ingestion of contaminated seafood. Knowledge on the mode of action and toxicology of OA and the chemical characterization and accumulation of DSTs in seafood species (bivalves, gastropods and crustaceans) has significantly contributed to understand the impacts of these toxins in humans. Considerable information is however missing, particularly at the molecular and metabolic levels involving toxin uptake, distribution, compartmentalization and biotransformation and the interaction of DSTs with aquatic organisms. Recent contributions to the knowledge of DSTs arise from transcriptomics and proteomics research. Indeed, OMICs constitute a research field dedicated to the systematic analysis on the organisms’ metabolisms. The methodologies used in OMICs are also highly effective to identify critical metabolic pathways affecting the physiology of the organisms. In this review, we analyze the main contributions provided so far by OMICs to DSTs research and discuss the prospects of OMICs with regard to the DSTs toxicology and the significance of these toxins to public health, food safety and aquaculture.