Cylindrospermopsin review paper acknowledging CYANOCOST, included in collection on Planetary Health.

Planetary Health is a relatively recent concept that aims to establish connections between the state of Earth’s natural systems and human health and well-being, thereby providing a broad perspective for environmental research and its importance to public health. ESPI’s Associate Editor Paul Tratnyek and Guest Editor Joe Needoba  have compiled a collection of ESPI papers with strong relevance to planetary health. In making their selections, the editors identified papers that address one or more “planetary boundaries”, which are the global-scale environmental threats that pose the greatest risk of disrupting Earth’s natural life support systems.

The paper “A review on cylindrospermopsin: The global occurrence, detection, toxicity and degradation of a potent cyanotoxin” by de la Cruz et al. has been selected for inclusion in the Editor’s Choice web collection on Planetary Health. The collection is introduced by Paul and Guest Editor Joseph Needoba (OHSU-PSU) in their Editorial, and you can read all the papers included at

This review paper on cylindrospermopsin is a product from a multi-national group of authors affiliated to academic organizations and agencies in USA, Cyprus and Greece. The paper acnowledges CYANOCOST.


de la Cruz, A. A., Hiskia, A., Kaloudis, T., Chernoff, N., Hill, D., Antoniou, M. G., He, X., Loftin, K., O’Shea, K., Zhao, C., Pelaez, M., Han, C., Lynch, T. J., & Dionysiou, D. D. (2013). A review on cylindrospermopsin: the global occurrence, detection, toxicity and degradation of a potent cyanotoxin. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 15(11), 1979-2003.


Short Total Synthesis of [15N5]-Cylindrospermopsins from 15NH4Cl Enables Precise Quantification of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Contamination


From the abstract of a recent parer by Mailyan et al., published in JACS:

“Fresh water cyanobacterial algal blooms represent a major health risk because these organisms produce cylindrospermopsin, a toxic, structurally complex, zwitterionic uracil-guanidine alkaloid recognized by the EPA as a dangerous drinking water contaminant. At present, the ability to detect and quantify the presence of cylindrospermospin in water samples is severely hampered by the lack of an isotopically labeled standard for analytical mass spectrometry. Herein, we present a concise, scaled total synthesis of 15N cylindrospermosin from 15N ammonium chloride, which leverages a unique stereoselective intramolecular double conjugate addition step to assemble the tricyclic guanidine core. In addition to providing the first pure isotopically labeled probe for precise quantification of this potent biotoxin in fresh water sources, our results demonstrate how unique constraints associated with isotope incorporation compel novel solutions to synthesis design.”


Artur K. Mailyan, Joanna L. Chen, Weiwei Li, Arturo A. Keller, Shawn M. Sternisha, Brian G. Miller, and Armen ZakarianShort (2018). Total Synthesis of [15N5]-Cylindrospermopsins from 15NH4Cl Enables Precise Quantification of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Contamination. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 140 (18), 6027-6032. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b03071

Do not drink the tap water ! City of Salem, Oregon, May 29.

The City of Salem, Oregon USA, has issued a drinking water advisory on May 29, related to the presence of cylindrospermopsin and microcystin in the water supplies. The cyanotoxins originate from the Detroit Reservoir that is used as source.

The advisory concerns infants, young children and other vulnerable individuals, stating that “children under the age of six, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers, or other sensitive populations should follow this advisory. At this time, people not on this list may continue to drink the water unless additional messaging is received.”

Updates of the advisory will follow on .


Genotoxic potential of the binary mixture of cyanotoxins microcystin- LR and cylindrospermopsin

From the abstract of a recent paper by Hercog et al. in Chemosphere:

“Increased eutrophication of water bodies promotes cyanobacterial blooming that is hazardous due to the production of various bioactive compounds. Microcystin-LR (MCLR) is among the most widespread cyanotoxins classified as possible human carcinogen, while cylindrospermopsin (CYN) has only recently been recognized as health concern. Both cyanotoxins are genotoxic; however, the mechanisms of their action differ. They are ubiquitously present in water environment and are often detected together. Therefore, we studied genotoxic potential of the binary mixture of these cyanotoxins. Human hepatoma cells (HepG2) were exposed to a single dose of MCLR (1 μg/mL), graded doses of CYN (0.01-0.5 μg/mL), and their combinations. Comet and Cytokinesis block micronucleus assays were used to detect induction of DNA strand breaks (sb) and genomic instability, respectively, along with the transcriptional analyses of the expression of selected genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, immediate/early cell response and DNA-damage response. MCLR induced DNA sb that were only transiently present after 4 h exposure, whereas CYN, after 24 h exposure, induced DNA sb and genomic instability. The MCLR/CYN mixture induced DNA sb after 24 h exposure, but to lesser extent as CYN alone. On the other hand, induction of genomic instability by the MCLR/CYN mixture was comparable to that induced by CYN alone. In addition, patterns of changes in the expression of selected genes induced by the MCLR/CYN mixture were not significantly different from those induced by CYN alone. Our results indicate that CYN exerts higher genotoxic potential than MCLR and that genotoxic potential of the MCLR/CYN mixture is comparable to that of CYN alone.”


Klara Hercog, Sara Maisanaba, Metka Filipič, Ángeles Jos, Ana M. Cameán, Bojana Žegura (2017). Genotoxic potential of the binary mixture of cyanotoxins microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin, Chemosphere, Volume 189, Pages 319-329,