Immunosuppressive Polyketides from Mantis-Associated Daldinia eschscholzii

Polyketides with unknown architectures are highly desired for the discovery of new drugs and agrochemicals. Here, the mantis-associated Daldinia eschscholzii, a fungus known to produce immunosuppressants dalesconols A and B, was found to simultaneously generate four novel skeletons capable of shaping the unusual chemistry of the fungal polyketides, of which seven were structurally unique and substantially immunosuppressive. In particular, the scaled-up fermentation of the microbe enabled the structural characterization of minor or “transitional” intermediate polyketides that allowed the reasonable recognition of the four biosynthetic pathways initiated by condensations of four, five, six and eight acetate units, respectively. Furthermore, the decarbonylation reaction of triketone, as in the case of daeschol A, was described for the first time, in addition to the structural correction of sporothrin C and nodulone. The work provided a set of novel immunosuppressive molecules that are of significance to drug discovery.