Three austin family compounds from Penicillium brasilianum exhibit selective blocking action on cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
ABSTRACT Austin (AT) and its derivatives (dehydroaustin (DAT) and acetoxydehydroaustin (ADAT)) produced by Penicillium brasilianum MG-11 exhibit toxicity to insects, yet their targets are unknown. Here, we used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to investigate the action of AT family compounds on cockroach acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and l-glutamate receptors expressed in the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) neuron. U-tube application of AT or its derivatives did not induce any current amplitudes, suggesting that they did not act as agonist of these three receptors. In the second step of experiments, they were bath-applied for 1min before co-application with the corresponding ligand. We found that AT and its derivatives had no effect on GABA and l-glutamate-induced currents, whereas they significantly reduced ACh- and epibatidine-induced currents, showing that these compounds acted as selective antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the cockroach neuron. Of the compounds, DAT showed the highest blocking potency for nAChRs, differentially attenuating the peak and slowly desensitizing current amplitude of ACh-induced responses with pIC(50) (=-logIC(50) (M)) values of 6.11 and 5.91, respectively. DAT reduced the maximum normalized response to ACh without a significant shift in EC(50), suggesting that the blocking action is not competitive with ACh.
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ABSTRACT: Prey organisms do not tolerate predator attack passively but react with a multitude of inducible defensive strategies. Although inducible defence strategies are well known in plants attacked by herbivorous insects, induced resistance of fungi against fungivorous animals is largely unknown. Resistance to fungivory is thought to be mediated by chemical properties of fungal tissue, i.e. by production of toxic secondary metabolites. However, whether fungi change their secondary metabolite composition to increase resistance against arthropod fungivory is unknown. We demonstrate that grazing by a soil arthropod, Folsomia candida, on the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans induces a phenotype that repels future fungivores and retards fungivore growth. Arthropod-exposed colonies produced significantly higher amounts of toxic secondary metabolites and invested more in sexual reproduction relative to unchallenged fungi. Compared with vegetative tissue and asexual conidiospores, sexual fruiting bodies turned out to be highly resistant against fungivory in facultative sexual A. nidulans. This indicates that fungivore grazing triggers co-regulated allocation of resources to sexual reproduction and chemical defence in A. nidulans. Plastic investment in facultative sex and chemical defence may have evolved as a fungal strategy to escape from predation.Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 01/2013; 280(1771):20131219. · 5.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chemical investigation of the endophytic fungus Emericella sp. (HK-ZJ) isolated from the mangrove plant Aegiceras corniculatum led to isolation of six isoindolones derivatives termed as emerimidine A and B and emeriphenolicins A and D, and six previously reported compounds named aspernidine A and B, austin, austinol, dehydroaustin, and acetoxydehydroaustin, respectively. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of NMR spectroscopic evidence while the anti-influenza A viral (H₁N₁) activities of eight compounds were also evaluated using the cytopathic effect (CPE) inhibition assay.Phytochemistry 05/2011; 72(11-12):1436-42. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fungi are key dietary resources for many animals. Fungi, in consequence, have evolved sophisticated physical and chemical defences for repelling and impairing fungivores. Expression of such defences may entail costs, requiring diversion of energy and nutrients away from fungal growth and reproduction. Inducible resistance that is mounted after attack by fungivores may allow fungi to circumvent the potential costs of defence when not needed. However, no information exists on whether fungi display inducible resistance. We combined organism and fungal gene expression approaches to investigate whether fungivory induces resistance in fungi. Here we show that grazing by larval fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, induces resistance in the filamentous mould, Aspergillus nidulans, to subsequent feeding by larvae of the same insect. Larval grazing triggered the expression of various putative fungal resistance genes, including the secondary metabolite master regulator gene laeA. Compared to the severe pathological effects of wild type A. nidulans, which led to 100% insect mortality, larval feeding on a laeA loss-of-function mutant resulted in normal insect development. Whereas the wild type fungus recovered from larval grazing, larvae eradicated the chemically deficient mutant. In contrast, mutualistic dietary yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, reached higher population densities when exposed to Drosophila larval feeding. Our study presents novel evidence that insect grazing is capable of inducing resistance to further grazing in a filamentous fungus. This phenotypic shift in resistance to fungivory is accompanied by changes in the expression of genes involved in signal transduction, epigenetic regulation and secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways. Depending on reciprocal insect-fungus fitness consequences, fungi may be selected for inducible resistance to maintain high fitness in fungivore-rich habitats. Induced fungal defence responses thus need to be included if we wish to have a complete conception of animal-fungus co-evolution, fungal gene regulation, and multitrophic interactions.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e74951. · 3.73 Impact Factor