Aflatoxin (AF) is polysubstituted bifuranocoumarins that are secondary fungal metabolites produced by parasiticus/flavus group of the genus Aspergillus. AF is hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic, mutagenic, teratogenic, genotoxic, and immunotoxic, so the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified AF as class I human carcinogen. AF-mediated cell injury may be associated with the release of free radicals, and these radicals initiate lipid peroxidation and a damaging process in biological systems since all cell membranes contain the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are substrates for such a reaction. One of the causes for AF-induced toxicity is the oxidative stress, which leads to the improved generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the oxidative DNA damage. Lycopene, a naturally occurring carotenoid, has drawn a particular attention in recent years because of its high antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging capacity and has been shown to be effective against oxidative stress due to AF. Lycopene blocks Phase 1 metabolic enzymes of AFB such as 3A4, 2A6, and 1A2.
Part of the book: Aflatoxin