Systematic structure-based search for ochratoxin-degrading enzymes in proteomes from filamentous fungi

Ana Lúcia Leitão, Francisco J. Enguita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


(1) Background: ochratoxins are mycotoxins produced by filamentous fungi with important implications in the food manufacturing industry due to their toxicity. Decontamination by specific ochratoxin-degrading enzymes has become an interesting alternative for the treatment of contaminated food commodities. (2) Methods: using a structure-based approach based on homology modeling, blind molecular docking of substrates and characterization of low-frequency protein motions, we performed a proteome mining in filamentous fungi to characterize new enzymes with potential ochratoxinase activity. (3) Results: the proteome mining results demonstrated the ubiquitous presence of fungal binuclear zinc-dependent amido-hydrolases with a high degree of structural homology to the already characterized ochratoxinase from Aspergillus niger. Ochratoxinase-like enzymes from ochratoxin-producing fungi showed more favorable substrate-binding pockets to accommodate ochratoxins A and B. (4) Conclusions: filamentous fungi are an interesting and rich source of hydrolases potentially capable of degrading ochratoxins, and could be used for the detoxification of diverse food commodities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1040
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2021


  • Biodegradation
  • Mycotoxin
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Ochratoxinase
  • Structural biology


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