Epigenetic genome mining of an endophytic fungus leads to the pleiotropic biosynthesis of natural products

X.M. Mao, W. Xu, D. Li, W.B. Yin, Heng Chooi, Y.Q. Li, Y. Tang, Y. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. The small-molecule biosynthetic potential of most filamentous fungi has remained largely unexplored and represents an attractive source for the discovery of new compounds. Genome sequencing of Calcarisporium arbuscula, a mushroom-endophytic fungus, revealed 68 core genes that are involved in natural product biosynthesis. This is in sharp contrast to the predominant production of the ATPase inhibitors aurovertin B and D in the wild-type fungus. Inactivation of a histone H3 deacetylase led to pleiotropic activation and overexpression of more than 75 % of the biosynthetic genes. Sampling of the overproduced compounds led to the isolation of ten compounds of which four contained new structures, including the cyclic peptides arbumycin and arbumelin, the diterpenoid arbuscullic acid A, and the meroterpenoid arbuscullic acid B. Such epigenetic modifications therefore provide a rapid and global approach to mine the chemical diversity of endophytic fungi. The endophytic fungus Calcarisporium arbuscula is rich in cryptic gene clusters for natural product biosynthesis. Removal of a global epigenetic repressor HdaA, the histone H3 deacetylase, activates the expression of over 75 % of the silenced gene clusters and enables the isolation of new natural products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7592-7596
JournalAngewandte Chemie
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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