Structure Revision of Isocereulide A, an Isoform of the Food Poisoning Emetic Bacillus cereus Toxin Cereulide

Molecules. 2021 Mar 4;26(5):1360. doi: 10.3390/molecules26051360.


The emetic Bacillus cereus toxin cereulide presents an enormous safety hazard in the food industry, inducing emesis and nausea after the consumption of contaminated foods. Additional to cereulide itself, seven structurally related isoforms, namely the isocereulides A-G, have already been elucidated in their chemical structure and could further be identified in B. cereus contaminated food samples. The newly performed isolation of isocereulide A allowed, for the first time, 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy of a biosynthetically produced isocereulide, revealing results that contradict previous assumptions of an l-O-Leu moiety within its chemical structure. By furthermore applying posthydrolytical dipeptide analysis, amino acid and α-hydroxy acid analysis by means of UPLC-ESI-TOF-MS, as well as MSn sequencing, the structure of previously reported isocereulide A could be corrected. Instead of the l-O-Leu as assumed to date, one l-O-Ile unit could be verified in the cyclic dodecadepsipeptide, revising the structure of isocereulide A to [(d-O-Leu-d-Ala-l-O-Val-l-Val)2(d-O-Leu-d-Ala-l-O-Ile-l-Val)].

Keywords: B. cereus; MSn sequencing; NMR spectroscopy; UPLC-MS; isocereulide(s); structure elucidation.