Special Issue "Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Cellular Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Janusz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19 Street, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
Interests: wood degradation; fungal enzymes; fungal genetics; light influence on microbs metabolism; biotechnology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Daniel Kracher
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
Interests: biomass degradation; second-generation biofuels; cellulases; redox enzymes; biocatalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Anna Pawlik
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19 St., 20-033 Lublin, Poland
Interests: laccase; wood degradation; microbiology; genomics; phylogenetics; fungal enzymes; light; enzymes in biotechnology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the rapid development of different biotechnological areas has had a tremendous impact on our society. A growing number of research papers not only allows scientists to better understand the biology of microorganisms, but also to elucidate new solutions that are important for human health, nutrition, environment, and other activities. So-called “microbial cell factories” were already in use thousands of years ago for alcoholic fermentation or as a source of antibiotics without knowing their real nature and composition. At present, we better understand how to use whole microbial cells, how to isolate bioactive compounds, including enzymes, or even how to manipulate their genes to improve efficiency. The proposed Special Issue embraces all fungal products with importance in the field of biotechnology and shall highlight possible areas of future development. At the same time, any research or review paper contributing significantly to a better understanding of fungal metabolism especially by “-omics” techniques is highly welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contribution to give greater value to the present project.

Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Janusz
Dr. Daniel Kracher
Dr. Anna Pawlik
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • enzymes
  • fungi
  • bioactive compounds
  • medicinal mushrooms
  • endopolysaccharides
  • biotechnology

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
First Dye-Decolorizing Peroxidase from an Ascomycetous Fungus Secreted by Xylaria grammica
Biomolecules 2021, 11(9), 1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11091391 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Background: Fungal DyP-type peroxidases have so far been described exclusively for basidiomycetes. Moreover, peroxidases from ascomycetes that oxidize Mn2+ ions are yet not known. Methods: We describe here the physicochemical, biocatalytic, and molecular characterization of a DyP-type peroxidase (DyP, EC 1.11.1.19) from [...] Read more.
Background: Fungal DyP-type peroxidases have so far been described exclusively for basidiomycetes. Moreover, peroxidases from ascomycetes that oxidize Mn2+ ions are yet not known. Methods: We describe here the physicochemical, biocatalytic, and molecular characterization of a DyP-type peroxidase (DyP, EC 1.11.1.19) from an ascomycetous fungus. Results: The enzyme oxidizes classic peroxidase substrates such as 2,6-DMP but also veratryl alcohol and notably Mn2+ to Mn3+ ions, suggesting a physiological function of this DyP in lignin modification. The KM value (49 µM) indicates that Mn2+ ions bind with high affinity to the XgrDyP protein but their subsequent oxidation into reactive Mn3+ proceeds with moderate efficiency compared to MnPs and VPs. Mn2+ oxidation was most effective at an acidic pH (between 4.0 and 5.0) and a hypothetical surface exposed an Mn2+ binding site comprising three acidic amino acids (two aspartates and one glutamate) could be localized within the hypothetical XgrDyP structure. The oxidation of Mn2+ ions is seemingly supported by four aromatic amino acids that mediate an electron transfer from the surface to the heme center. Conclusions: Our findings shed new light on the possible involvement of DyP-type peroxidases in lignocellulose degradation, especially by fungi that lack prototypical ligninolytic class II peroxidases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
The Carbon Source Controls the Secretion and Yield of Polysaccharide-Hydrolyzing Enzymes of Basidiomycetes
Biomolecules 2021, 11(9), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11091341 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
In the present study, the polysaccharide-hydrolyzing secretomes of Irpex lacteus (Fr.) Fr. (1828) BCC104, Pycnoporus coccineus (Fr.) Bondartsev and Singer (1941) BCC310, and Schizophyllum commune Fr. (1815) BCC632 were analyzed in submerged fermentation conditions to elucidate the effect of chemically and structurally different [...] Read more.
In the present study, the polysaccharide-hydrolyzing secretomes of Irpex lacteus (Fr.) Fr. (1828) BCC104, Pycnoporus coccineus (Fr.) Bondartsev and Singer (1941) BCC310, and Schizophyllum commune Fr. (1815) BCC632 were analyzed in submerged fermentation conditions to elucidate the effect of chemically and structurally different carbon sources on the expression of cellulases and xylanase. Among polymeric substrates, crystalline cellulose appeared to be the best carbon source providing the highest endoglucanase, total cellulase, and xylanase activities. Mandarin pomace as a growth substrate for S. commune allowed to achieve comparatively high volumetric activities of all target enzymes while wheat straw induced a significant secretion of cellulase and xylanase activities of I. lacteus and P. coccineus. An additive effect on the secretion of cellulases and xylanases by the tested fungi was observed when crystalline cellulose was combined with mandarin pomace. In I. lacteus the cellulase and xylanase production is inducible in the presence of cellulose-rich substrates but is suppressed in the presence of an excess of easily metabolizable carbon source. These enzymes are expressed in a coordinated manner under all conditions studied. It was shown that the substitution of glucose in the inoculum medium with Avicel provides accelerated enzyme production by I. lacteus and higher cellulase and xylanase activities of the fungus. These results add new knowledge to the physiology of basidiomycetes to improve cellulase production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Thromboelastometric Analysis of Anticancer Cerrena unicolor Subfractions Reveal Their Potential as Fibrin Glue Drug Carrier Enhancers
Biomolecules 2021, 11(9), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11091263 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
In this study, the influence of two subfractions (with previously proven anti-cancer properties) isolated from wood rot fungus Cerrena unicolor on the formation of a fibrin clot was investigated in the context of potential use as fibrin glue and sealant enhancers and potential [...] Read more.
In this study, the influence of two subfractions (with previously proven anti-cancer properties) isolated from wood rot fungus Cerrena unicolor on the formation of a fibrin clot was investigated in the context of potential use as fibrin glue and sealant enhancers and potential wound healing agents. With the use of ROTEM thromboelastometry, we demonstrated that, in the presence of fibrinogen and thrombin, the S6 fraction accelerated the formation of a fibrin clot, had a positive effect on its elasticity modulus, and enhanced the degree of fibrin cross-linking. The S5 fraction alone showed no influence on the fibrin coagulation process; however, in the presence of fibrin, it exhibited a decrease in anti-proliferative properties against the HT-29 line, while it increased the proliferation of cells in general at a concentration of 100 µg/mL. Both fractions retained their proapoptotic properties to a lesser degree. In combination with the S6 fraction in the ratio of 1:1 and 1:3, the fractions contributed to increased inhibition of the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This may suggest anti-metastatic activity of the combined fractions. In conclusion, the potential of the fractions isolated from the C. unicolor secretome to be used as a means of improving the wound healing process was presented. The potential for delivering agents with cytostatic properties introduced far from the site of action or exerting a pro-proliferative effect at the wound site with the aid of a fibrin sealant was demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Pro-Health and Anti-Cancer Activity of Fungal Fractions Isolated from Milk-Supplemented Cultures of Lentinus (Pleurotus) Sajor-caju
Biomolecules 2021, 11(8), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11081089 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The present study aimed to demonstrate Lentinus (formerly Pleurotus) sajor-caju (PSC) as a good source of pro-health substances. It has also shown that supplementation of its culture medium with cow milk may further improve its beneficial properties. Intracellular fractions from fungi grown [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to demonstrate Lentinus (formerly Pleurotus) sajor-caju (PSC) as a good source of pro-health substances. It has also shown that supplementation of its culture medium with cow milk may further improve its beneficial properties. Intracellular fractions from fungi grown on a medium supplemented with cow milk were analyzed using various biochemical methods for determination of the nutrient composition. Furthermore, anti-cancer properties of selected extracts were investigated on colorectal cancer cell lines (HT-29, LS 180, and SW948) in vitro. Biochemical analysis showed enrichment in health-enhancing compounds, such as proteins or polysaccharides (about 3.5- and 4.5-fold increase in concentration of proteins and carbohydratesin extracts of mycelia cultured on whole milk (PSC2-I), respectively), with a decrease in the level of free radicals (10-fold decrease in extract grown on milk and medium mixture (1:1) (PSC3-II)), which was related to increased catalase and superoxide dismutase activity (7.5-fold increase in catalase activity and 5-fold in SOD activity in PSC3-II compared to the control). Moreover, the viability of the cancer cells was diminished (to 60.0 ± 6.8% and 40.0 ± 8.6% of the control, on HT-29 and SW948 cells, respectively), along with pro-apoptotic (to 18.8 ± 11.8 and 14.7 ± 8.0% towards LS 180 and SW948 cells, respectively) and NO-secreting effects (about 2-fold increase) of the extracts. This study suggests that PSC has multiple nutritional and anti-cancer properties and can be used as a source of healthy biomolecules in modern medicine or functional foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Enhances Iron Uptake by the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Biomolecules 2021, 11(6), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11060850 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of a pulsed electric field (PEF) on the level of iron ion accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and to select PEF conditions optimal for the highest uptake of this element. Iron ions were [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of a pulsed electric field (PEF) on the level of iron ion accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and to select PEF conditions optimal for the highest uptake of this element. Iron ions were accumulated most efficiently when their source was iron (III) nitrate. When the following conditions of PEF treatment were used: voltage 1500 V, pulse width 10 μs, treatment time 20 min, and a number of pulses 1200, accumulation of iron ions in the cells from a 20 h-culture reached a maximum value of 48.01 mg/g dry mass. Application of the optimal PEF conditions thus increased iron accumulation in cells by 157% as compared to the sample enriched with iron without PEF. The second derivative of the FTIR spectra of iron-loaded and -unloaded yeast cells allowed us to determine the functional groups which may be involved in metal ion binding. The exposure of cells to PEF treatment only slightly influenced the biomass and cell viability. However, iron-enriched yeast (both with or without PEF) showed lower fermentative activity than a control sample. Thus obtained yeast biomass containing a high amount of incorporated iron may serve as an alternative to pharmacological supplementation in the state of iron deficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Studies on the Catalytic Properties of Crude Freeze-Dried Preparations of Yarrowia lipolytica Extracellular Lipases for Geranyl Ester Derivative Synthesis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(6), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11060839 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the impact of selected factors of the freeze-drying process on the hydrolytic and synthetic activity of the extracellular lipases of Y. lipolytica KKP 379 and to attempt the use of the crude enzyme preparation as a biocatalyst in [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the impact of selected factors of the freeze-drying process on the hydrolytic and synthetic activity of the extracellular lipases of Y. lipolytica KKP 379 and to attempt the use of the crude enzyme preparation as a biocatalyst in the synthesis of geranyl 4-hydroxyphenylpropanoate. Antioxidant and antibacterial properties of the geranyl ester derivative were also investigated in order to evaluate their usefulness as a novel food additive. The studies confirmed that freeze-drying was an effective method of dehydrating yeast supernatant and allowed for obtaining lyophilizates with low water activity from 0.055 to 0.160. The type and concentration of the additive (2–6% whey protein hydrolyzate, 0.5% and 1% ammonium sulphate) had a significant effect on the hydrolytic activity of enzyme preparations, while the selected variants of drying temperature during the freeze-drying process were not significant (10 °C and 50 °C). Low yield of geranyl 4-hydroxyphenylopropionate was shown when the lyophilized supernatant was used (5.3%), but the yield of ester synthesis increased when the freeze-dried Y. lipolytica yeast biomass was applied (47.9%). The study confirmed the antioxidant properties of the synthesized ester by the DPPH and CUPRAC methods, as well as higher antibacterial activity against tested bacteria than its precursor with 0.125 mM MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration) against L. monocytogenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Cerrena unicolor Laccases, Genes Expression and Regulation of Activity
Biomolecules 2021, 11(3), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11030468 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
A white rot fungus Cerrena unicolor has been identified as an important source of laccase, unfortunately regulation of this enzyme genes expression is poorly understood. Using 1D and 2D PAGE and LC-MS/MS, laccase isoenzymes were investigated in the liquid filtrate of C. unicolor [...] Read more.
A white rot fungus Cerrena unicolor has been identified as an important source of laccase, unfortunately regulation of this enzyme genes expression is poorly understood. Using 1D and 2D PAGE and LC-MS/MS, laccase isoenzymes were investigated in the liquid filtrate of C. unicolor culture. The level of expression of laccase genes was measured using qPCR. The elevated concentrations of copper and manganese in the medium caused greatest change in genes expression and three laccase transcripts were significantly affected after culture temperature was decreased from 28 to 4 °C or increased to 40 °C. The small differences in the PAGE band intensities of individual laccase proteins were also observed, indicating that given compound affect particular laccase’s transcript. Analyses of laccase-specific activity, at all tested conditions, showed the increased activities as compared to the control, suggesting that enzyme is regulated at the post-translational stage. We observed that the aspartic protease purified from C. unicolor, significantly stimulate laccase activity. Moreover, electrochemical analysis of protease-treated laccase sample had 5 times higher redox peaks. The obtained results indicate that laccases released by C. unicolor are regulated at transcriptional, translational, and at the post-translational steps of gene expression helping fungus adapt to the environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Fungal X-Intrinsic Protein Aquaporin from Trichoderma atroviride: Structural and Functional Considerations
Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020338 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1250
Abstract
The major intrinsic protein (MIP) superfamily is a key part of the fungal transmembrane transport network. It facilitates the transport of water and low molecular weight solutes across biomembranes. The fungal uncharacterized X-Intrinsic Protein (XIP) subfamily includes the full protein diversity of MIP. [...] Read more.
The major intrinsic protein (MIP) superfamily is a key part of the fungal transmembrane transport network. It facilitates the transport of water and low molecular weight solutes across biomembranes. The fungal uncharacterized X-Intrinsic Protein (XIP) subfamily includes the full protein diversity of MIP. Their biological functions still remain fully hypothetical. The aim of this study is still to deepen the diversity and the structure of the XIP subfamily in light of the MIP counterparts—the aquaporins (AQPs) and aquaglyceroporins (AQGPs)—and to describe for the first time their function in the development, biomass accumulation, and mycoparasitic aptitudes of the fungal bioagent Trichoderma atroviride. The fungus-XIP clade, with one member (TriatXIP), is one of the three clades of MIPs that make up the diversity of T. atroviride MIPs, along with the AQPs (three members) and the AQGPs (three members). TriatXIP resembles those of strict aquaporins, predicting water diffusion and possibly other small polar solutes due to particularly wider ar/R constriction with a Lysine substitution at the LE2 position. The XIP loss of function in ∆TriatXIP mutants slightly delays biomass accumulation but does not impact mycoparasitic activities. ∆TriatMIP forms colonies similar to wild type; however, the hyphae are slightly thinner and colonies produce rare chlamydospores in PDA and specific media, most of which are relatively small and exhibit abnormal morphologies. To better understand the molecular causes of these deviant phenotypes, a wide-metabolic survey of the ∆TriatXIPs demonstrates that the delayed growth kinetic, correlated to a decrease in respiration rate, is caused by perturbations in the pentose phosphate pathway. Furthermore, the null expression of the XIP gene strongly impacts the expression of four expressed MIP-encoding genes of T. atroviride, a plausible compensating effect which safeguards the physiological integrity and life cycle of the fungus. This paper offers an overview of the fungal XIP family in the biocontrol agent T. atroviride which will be useful for further functional analysis of this particular MIP subfamily in vegetative growth and the environmental stress response in fungi. Ultimately, these findings have implications for the ecophysiology of Trichoderma spp. in natural, agronomic, and industrial systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Enzymatic Synthesis of Lipophilic Esters of Phenolic Compounds, Evaluation of Their Antioxidant Activity and Effect on the Oxidative Stability of Selected Oils
Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020314 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
The aim of the study was to compare the effect of the substituent and its position in the aromatic ring on the antioxidant activity of hexanoic acid esters obtained in reactions catalyzed by immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica. 4-Hydroxybenzyl hexanoate, 2-hydroxybenzyl [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to compare the effect of the substituent and its position in the aromatic ring on the antioxidant activity of hexanoic acid esters obtained in reactions catalyzed by immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica. 4-Hydroxybenzyl hexanoate, 2-hydroxybenzyl hexanoate, 4-methoxybenzyl hexanoate, and vanillyl hexanoate were obtained with conversion yields of 50 to 80%. The antioxidant activity of synthesized esters, their alcohol precursors and BHT (Butylated HydroxyToluene) was compared with DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), CUPRAC (cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity), and CBA (crocin bleaching assay) methods. Furthermore, it was investigated whether the presence of vanillyl hexanoate in a concentration of 0.01 and 0.1% affected the oxidative stability of sunflower and rapeseed oils in the Rancimat test. It was observed that the antioxidant activity of hexanoic acid esters depends on the presence and position of the hydroxyl group in the aromatic ring. The highest activities were found for vanillyl alcohol, vanillyl hexanoate, and BHT. The addition of the ester and BHT significantly extended the induction times of the tested oils, and these compounds exhibited similar activity. Vanillyl hexanoate increased the induction time from 4.49 to 5.28 h and from 2.73 to 3.12 h in the case of rapeseed and sunflower oils, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Sarocladium and Lecanicillium Associated with Maize Seeds and Their Potential to Form Selected Secondary Metabolites
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010098 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 847
Abstract
The occurrence and diversity of Lecanicillium and Sarocladium in maize seeds and their role in this cereal are poorly understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate Sarocladium and Lecanicillium communities found in endosphere of maize seeds collected from fields in Poland and [...] Read more.
The occurrence and diversity of Lecanicillium and Sarocladium in maize seeds and their role in this cereal are poorly understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate Sarocladium and Lecanicillium communities found in endosphere of maize seeds collected from fields in Poland and their potential to form selected bioactive substances. The sequencing of the internally transcribed spacer regions 1 (ITS 1) and 2 (ITS2) and the large-subunit (LSU, 28S) of the rRNA gene cluster resulted in the identification of 17 Sarocladium zeae strains, three Sarocladium strictum and five Lecanicillium lecanii isolates. The assay on solid substrate showed that S. zeae and S. strictum can synthesize bassianolide, vertilecanin A, vertilecanin A methyl ester, 2-decenedioic acid and 10-hydroxy-8-decenoic acid. This is also the first study revealing the ability of these two species to produce beauvericin and enniatin B1, respectively. Moreover, for the first time in the present investigation, pyrrocidine A and/or B have been annotated as metabolites of S. strictum and L. lecanii. The production of toxic, insecticidal and antibacterial compounds in cultures of S. strictum, S. zeae and L. lecanii suggests the requirement to revise the approach to study the biological role of fungi inhabiting maize seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Review

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Review
Fungal Guttation, a Source of Bioactive Compounds, and Its Ecological Role—A Review
Biomolecules 2021, 11(9), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11091270 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Guttation is a common phenomenon in the fungal kingdom. Its occurrence and intensity depend largely on culture conditions, such as growth medium composition or incubation temperature. As filamentous fungi are a rich source of compounds, possessing various biological activities, guttation exudates could also [...] Read more.
Guttation is a common phenomenon in the fungal kingdom. Its occurrence and intensity depend largely on culture conditions, such as growth medium composition or incubation temperature. As filamentous fungi are a rich source of compounds, possessing various biological activities, guttation exudates could also contain bioactive substances. Among such molecules, researchers have already found numerous mycotoxins, antimicrobials, insecticides, bioherbicides, antiviral, and anticancer agents in exudate droplets. They belong to either secondary metabolites (SMs) or proteins and are secreted with different intensities. The background of guttation, in terms of its biological role, in vivo, and promoting factors, has been explored only partially. In this review, we describe the metabolites present in fungal exudates, their diversity, and bioactivities. Pointing to the significance of fungal ecology and natural products discovery, selected aspects of guttation in the fungi are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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Review
The Pentose Phosphate Pathway in Yeasts–More Than a Poor Cousin of Glycolysis
Biomolecules 2021, 11(5), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050725 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1328
Abstract
The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is a route that can work in parallel to glycolysis in glucose degradation in most living cells. It has a unidirectional oxidative part with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase as a key enzyme generating NADPH, and a non-oxidative part involving the [...] Read more.
The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is a route that can work in parallel to glycolysis in glucose degradation in most living cells. It has a unidirectional oxidative part with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase as a key enzyme generating NADPH, and a non-oxidative part involving the reversible transketolase and transaldolase reactions, which interchange PPP metabolites with glycolysis. While the oxidative branch is vital to cope with oxidative stress, the non-oxidative branch provides precursors for the synthesis of nucleic, fatty and aromatic amino acids. For glucose catabolism in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where its components were first discovered and extensively studied, the PPP plays only a minor role. In contrast, PPP and glycolysis contribute almost equally to glucose degradation in other yeasts. We here summarize the data available for the PPP enzymes focusing on S. cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lactis, and describe the phenotypes of gene deletions and the benefits of their overproduction and modification. Reference to other yeasts and to the importance of the PPP in their biotechnological and medical applications is briefly being included. We propose future studies on the PPP in K. lactis to be of special interest for basic science and as a host for the expression of human disease genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Metabolism - Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds)
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