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The effects of the mycotoxin patulin on the thermodynamics and kinetics of the transition of bovine serum albumin (BSA) in aqueous solution were studied by Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Photoluminescence methods. Results show that in the presence of patulin, the free enthalpy change during the transition of BSA was decreased by an average of ∼ 46 kJ/mol, the free energy change was decreased by ∼ 4 kJ/mol, and the activation energy fell from ∼ 1546 to ∼ 840 kJ/mol. These results indicate that the bioactivity of patulin is based on the kinetic rather than on the thermodynamic properties of the transition. This is the first evidence of the direct interaction of patulin with the free thiol-containing BSA, a process which could contribute to the adverse cyto- and genotoxic effects induced by patulin.

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