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Endophytic Akanthomyces sp. LN303 from Edelweiss Produces Emestrin and Two New 2‑Hydroxy‑4 Pyridone Alkaloids

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journal contribution
posted on 15.01.2021, 07:15 by Martina Oberhofer, Judith Wackerlig, Martin Zehl, Havva Büyük, Jia Jian Cao, Alexander Prado-Roller, Ernst Urban, Sergey B. Zotchev
In the search for new antibiotics, several fungal endophytes were isolated from the medicinal plant Leontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum (Edelweiss). The extract from one of these fungi classified as Akanthomyces sp. displayed broad-spectrum antibiotic activity against gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Further investigation into the composition of this extract using bioactivity-guided fractionation, HRMS, and nuclear magnetic resonance revealed two new 4-hydroxy-2-pyridone alkaloids (1, 2) and emestrin (3), an epidithiodioxopiperazine not previously known to be produced by a member of Cordycipitaceae. Further testing of purified compounds 1 and 2 proved that they are devoid of antibiotic activity, and all the activities observed in the crude extract could be assigned to emestrin (3), whose configuration was confirmed by crystallographic data. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that endophytic fungi from Edelweiss can produce new compounds, prompting further investigation into them for drug discovery.