Nav: Home

Soil fungi secrete an antibiotic with antitumor activity

January 21, 2019

A team of scientists from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) together with their colleagues isolated a peptide named emericellipsin A from soil fungi. The substance was proved to possess antitumor and antibacterial properties. The report of the scientists was published in the Molecules journal.

Soil fungi have long been known to be an excellent source of antibacterial substances. Penicillins and cephalosporins produced by micellar (mouldy) fungi are the most well-known ones. These types of fungi are well-studied and have been used for a long time, that gave bacterias resistance to the majority of their antibiotics. Therefore, scientists have to constantly modify the molecules of antibiotics to efficiently destroy harmful bacteria.

A team of researchers from MSMU discovered a completely new antibacterial and antitumor substance from an alkalophilic strain of Emericellopsis alkalina - an organism living in the alkaline environment that is harmful for others. These fungi have to adapt to the high salinity of the environment and scarcity of nutrients by creating new biologically active compounds. New molecule belongs to the class of peptaibols. It is a small peptide consisting of nine amino acid resudues including unusual ones that are not coded in a DNA sequence. To study the structure of the compound, the scientists used nuclear magnetic resonance - a method based on changes in the characteristics of atoms depending on connection between them. The peptaibol was named emericellipsin A according the genus name of producing fungi.

Studies showed that the protein had high antifungal activity against the Candida albicans yeast and the Aspergillus niger mould. Also, it was able to kill several kinds of bacteria as well. Moreover, scientists identified some antitumor properties of emericellipsin A and suggested it worked by damaging the membranes of tumor cells.

"The peptaibol emericellipsin A is shorter than the majority of other known molecules of this class and therefore is more appropriate for drug development. Despite the lack of bactericide effect against gram-negative bacteria, the peptaibol suppresses their ability to form biofilms. The peptaibol's high antifungal activity against Candida and Aspergillus fungi reflects its potential as a new antifungal drug. It may also be active against the fungi resistant to other medicinal drugs. Our results open new perspectives for further studies of emericellipsin A and its analogs," said Yaroslav Andreev, a co-author of the work, the head of the laboratory of molecular and cellular biology of MSMU.
-end-
The study was carried out together with scientists from Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Gause Institute of New Antibiotics, Tyumen State University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Moscow City Applied Research Center for Combating Tuberculosis.

Sechenov University

Related Fungi Articles:

Fungi as food source for plants
The number of plant species that extract organic nutrients from fungi could be much higher than previously assumed.
Bark beetles control pathogenic fungi
Pathogens can drive the evolution of social behaviour in insects.
Using fungi to search for medical drugs
An enormous library of products derived from more than 10,000 fungi could help us find new drugs.
Plants and fungi together could slow climate change
A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils.
Make fungi think they're starving to stop them having sex, say scientists
Tricking fungi into thinking they're starving could be the key to slowing down our evolutionary arms race with fungal pathogens, as hungry fungi don't want to have sex.
How plants react to fungi
Using special receptors, plants recognize when they are at risk of fungal infection.
Clostridium difficile infections may have a friend in fungi
The pathogen Clostridium difficile, which causes one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the United States, may have accomplices that until now have gone largely unnoticed.
A 'crisper' method for gene editing in fungi
A team of researchers from Tokyo University of Science, Meiji University, and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, led by Professor Takayuki Arazoe, has recently established a series of novel strategies to increase the efficiency of targeted gene disruption and new gene 'introduction' using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in the rice blast fungus Pyricularia (Magnaporthe) oryzae.
Are no-fun fungi keeping fertilizer from plants?
Research explores soil, fungi, phosphorus dynamics.
How fungi influence global plant colonisation
The symbiosis of plants and fungi has a great influence on the worldwide spread of plant species.
More Fungi News and Fungi Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.