Production of novel fusarielins by ectopic activation of the polyketide synthase 9 cluster in Fusarium graminearum

Jens Laurids Sørensen, Frederik Teilfeldt Hansen, Teis Esben Sondergaard, Dan Staerk, T. Verne Lee, Reinhard Wimmer, Louise Graabæk Klitgaard, Stig Purup, Henriette Giese, Rasmus John Normand Frandsen

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    Like many other filamentous fungi, Fusarium graminearum has the genetic potential to produce a vast array of unknown secondary metabolites. A promising approach to determine the nature of these is to activate silent secondary metabolite gene clusters through constitutive expression of cluster specific transcription factors. We have developed a system in which an expression cassette containing the transcription factor from the targeted PKS cluster disrupts the production of the red mycelium pigment aurofusarin. This aids with identification of mutants as they appear as white colonies and metabolite analyses where aurofusarin and its intermediates are normally among the most abundant compounds. The system was used for constitutive expression of the local transcription factor from the PKS9 cluster (renamed FSL) leading to production of three novel fusarielins, F, G and H. This group of compounds has not previously been reported from F. graminearum or linked to a biosynthetic gene in any fungal species. The toxicity of the three novel fusarielins was examined against colorectal cancer cell lines where fusarielin H was more potent than fusarielin F and G.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1159-1170
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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