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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(8), 4326-4352; doi:10.3390/md12084326

Activation of Dormant Secondary Metabolite Production by Introducing Neomycin Resistance into the Deep-Sea Fungus, Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3

1
Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Beijing 100850, China
2
Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, Chinese Ministry of Education, Institute of Marine Drugs and Food, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
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Abstract

A new ultrasound-mediated approach has been developed to introduce neomycin-resistance to activate silent pathways for secondary metabolite production in a bio-inactive, deep-sea fungus, Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3. Upon treatment of the ZBY-3 spores with a high concentration of neomycin by proper ultrasound irradiation, a total of 30 mutants were obtained by single colony isolation. The acquired resistance of the mutants to neomycin was confirmed by a resistance test. In contrast to the ZBY-3 strain, the EtOAc extracts of 22 of the 30 mutants inhibited the human cancer K562 cells, indicating that these mutants acquired a capability to produce antitumor metabolites. HPLC-photodiode array detector (PDAD)-UV and HPLC-electron spray ionization (ESI)-MS analyses of the EtOAc extracts of seven bioactive mutants and the ZBY-3 strain indicated that diverse secondary metabolites have been newly produced in the mutant extracts in contrast to the ZBY-3 extract. The followed isolation and characterization demonstrated that six metabolites, cyclo(d-Pro-d-Phe) (1), cyclo(d-Tyr-d-Pro) (2), phenethyl 5-oxo-l-prolinate (3), cyclo(l-Ile-l-Pro) (4), cyclo(l-Leu-l-Pro) (5) and 3β,5α,9α-trihydroxy-(22E,24R)-ergosta-7,22-dien-6-one (6), were newly produced by the mutant u2n2h3-3 compared to the parent ZBY-3 strain. Compound 3 was a new compound; 2 was isolated from a natural source for the first time, and all of these compounds were also not yet found in the metabolites of other A. versicolor strains. Compounds 16 inhibited the K562 cells, with inhibition rates of 54.6% (1), 72.9% (2), 23.5% (3), 29.6% (4), 30.9% (5) and 51.1% (6) at 100 μg/mL, and inhibited also other human cancer HL-60, BGC-823 and HeLa cells, to some extent. The present study demonstrated the effectiveness of the ultrasound-mediated approach to activate silent metabolite production in fungi by introducing acquired resistance to aminoglycosides and its potential for discovering new compounds from silent fungal metabolic pathways. This approach could be applied to elicit the metabolic potentials of other fungal isolates to discover new compounds from cryptic secondary metabolites. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3; deep-sea fungus; neomycin resistance; ultrasound; antitumor activity; secondary metabolite production Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3; deep-sea fungus; neomycin resistance; ultrasound; antitumor activity; secondary metabolite production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, Y.; Cui, C.-B.; Li, C.-W.; Hua, W.; Wu, C.-J.; Zhu, T.-J.; Gu, Q.-Q. Activation of Dormant Secondary Metabolite Production by Introducing Neomycin Resistance into the Deep-Sea Fungus, Aspergillus versicolor ZBY-3. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 4326-4352.

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