Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin which contaminates a variety of human food, e.g.
In experimental animals, ochratoxin A is nephrotoxic and induces tumors, in the kidney, but also in other organs of rodents.
In humans, exposure to high levels of ochratoxin A in diet has been linked with chronic renal disease (Balkan endemic nephropathy, interstitial nephritis) and an increased incidence of urinary tract tumors.
The proposal includes novel approaches to study mechanisms of ochratoxin A tumorigenicity to kidney and combines studies in vivo and in relevant in vitro models to investigate the occurence and nature of damage to DNA and other macromolecules induced by ochratoxin A and its metabolites. These studies include sophisticated analytical chemistry and applications of molecular biology to a toxicological problem. After completion, an improved understanding of mechanisms resulting in DNA-damage by ochratoxin A will be obtained.