Zearalenones (ZENs) Hapten Design and Synthesis

Zearalenone (ZEN) is a class of non-steroid mycotoxins with strong estrogens and is commonly produced by Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium equiseti. ZEN has low acute toxicity in most species, including humans and farm animals. The toxicity of ZEN is commonly expressed in the estrogenic activity and the influence on anabolism. Moreover, ZEN has cytotoxicity and genotoxicity and breeding problems, especially in swine. Based on the chemical criteria, theoretical studies, and molecular modeling assisted hapten design, Creative Biolabs provides mature strategies and perfect techniques for the design, modification, and synthesis of haptens.

Types of Zearalenones

ZEN, shown in Fig.1, is a nonsteroidal estrogenic mycotoxin produced by several species of Fusarium fungi. The primary producer of ZEN is Fusarium graminearum. ZENs and the analogs are mainly pollutants corn, wheat, rice, barley, millet, and oats.

Chemical structure of ZEN. Figure.1 Chemical structure of ZEN. (Gupta, 2018)

ZEN undergoes the reduction of the 60 ketones to a secondary alcohol, which results in two diastereoisomeric ZENs (α and β), and they are naturally occurring fungal metabolites. ZEN has a dihydroxybenzoic acid ester structure of phenol and with 5 analogs: α-Zearalanol, β-Zearalanol, α-Zearalenol, β-Zearalenol, and Zearalenone. The structures of analogs are shown in Fig.2.

The table of analogs of basic information on ZENs. Figure. 2 The table of analogs of basic information on ZENs. (Xu, 2019)

According to the chemical structure and function researches, Creative Biolabs provides advanced techniques for the design, synthesis, and modification of haptens for ZENs, including the class-specific and compound-specific haptens for ZENs.

Design and Synthesis of Class-specific Haptens for Zearalenone

For the design and synthesis of class-specific haptens for ZENs, shown in Fig.3, these services mainly focus on position 1 on the ZEN. Based on customers’ demands, firstly, we design and synthesize haptens with the different spacer arms. Then, we will verify which one is more sensitive and high affinity. Subsequently, we will prepare for the hapten–protein conjugates based on customers’ objectives. Meanwhile, the antibodies will obtain two or more structural analogs after immunizing animals. The rest of the processes of design and synthesis of class-specific haptens for ZENs, our staff will test, detect and confirm the characterization and assay optimization of antibodies.

The class-specific haptens for ZEN. Figure.3 The class-specific haptens for ZEN.

Design and Synthesis of Compound-specific Haptens for Zearalenone

For the design and synthesis of compound-specific haptens for ZENs, shown in Fig.4, these services focus on position 2 on ZEN. Moreover, Creative Biolabs will design and synthesize compound-specific hapten based on customers’ objectives. There are four steps in this service, including the design of spacer arms, modification of spacer arms, preparation of haptens derivatives, and verification of optimal spacer arms.

The compound-specific haptens for ZEN. Figure.4 The compound-specific haptens for ZEN.

Compared with other molecules, a hapten is a small molecule that reacts with a specific antibody but is not immunogenic by itself. Haptens can be made immunogenic by conjugation to a suitable carrier. With many years of the design, verification and synthesis of haptens experience and expertise, Creative Biolabs is dedicated to providing the best haptens to promote your antibody development project. For more specific details, please don't hesitate to contact us.


  1. Gupta, R. C.; et al. Zearalenone. Veterinary Toxicology. 2018: 1055–1063.
  2. Xu, C.; et al. Zearalenone. Food Immunoassay. 2019: 23-24.
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