Aflatoxins constitute a cluster of mycotoxins that are derived from fungal metabolites and are produced from diverse fungi species, especially Aspergillus. They are a collection of closely linked heterocyclic compounds produced predominantly by two filamentous fungi, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. They are also known to cause severe health threats to humans and animals, thereby resulting to several complications like immunotoxicity, teratogenicity hepatotoxicity. Aflatoxins interfere with normal metabolic processes. This interference encompasses the regulatory processes that occur throughout the progression of energy metabolism. Thus, the effects of aflatoxins are seen in the inhibition of ATP generation, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, mitochondrial structure and proteins synthesis. This chapter will focus on the mechanisms of aflatoxin-induced disruption of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins metabolism, and how they affect the bioenergetic systems.
Part of the book: Aflatoxins