Question - The Amanita phalloides mushroom contains amatoxins (among other toxins), with α-amanitin, mainly responsible for the toxic effects in humans. What is the likely mechanism of toxicity for α-amanitin?
Answer - The cited article reports that “It is recognized that α-amanitin inhibits RNA polymerase II, causing protein deficit and ultimately cell death, although other mechanisms are thought to be involved. The liver is the main target organ of toxicity, but other organs are also affected, especially the kidneys. Intoxication symptoms usually appear after a latent period and may include gastrointestinal disorders followed by jaundice, seizures, and coma, culminating in death.” (Garcia J et al. Amanita phalloides poisoning: Mechanisms of toxicity and treatment. 2015 Food and Chemical Toxicology 86:41-55)