Fungi, especially those which live in symbiotic association with other organisms, are rich sources of small-molecule natural products representing novel structures and eliciting diverse biological responses, but to date they remain underexplored. The goal of this project is to generate molecular libraries derived from a unique collection of carefully identified and curated endophytic and endolichenic fungal strains from four diverse U.S. eco-zones.
In Specific Aim 1, selected strains of fungal species which have never been investigated previously for their secondary metabolites will be cultured in small-scale and subjected to HPLC analysis, LC-MS and 13C-NMR dereplication to select high-yielding strains producing new, rare, and/or carbonyl-containing compounds.
In Aim 2, promising fungal strains will be cultured on large-scale and processed to isolate natural products new to the NIH Molecular Libraries Small-Molecule Repository (MLSMR).
Aim 3 will focus on an innovative approach of chemically diversifying CO-containing natural products prevalent among fungal secondary metabolites in a high-yielding reaction with the diamine reagent, hydrazine. This will result in analogs containing N-N moieties very rare in nature but common among """"""""drug-like"""""""" combinatorial and synthetic molecules. During the course of this project compounds possessing unique structural features and occupying biologically-relevant chemical space hitherto not represented in the MLSMR will be generated and submitted to the MLSMR, which constitutes Aim 4 of this proposal. The major strengths of this application are: (i) availability of a collection of a unique, geno-typed endosymbiotic fungal strains not previously investigated for their secondary metabolites;(ii) biological relevance of structures to be generated that are poorly represented in the MLSMR;(iii) the track record of the group in microbiology and natural products chemistry, as well as (iv) the success the group has had in converting carbonyl-containing fungal metabolites into their N-N bond-containing analogs, many with unprecedented structures and potential bioactivities. Thus, the likelihood of discovering activities relevant to human diseases and/or affecting the functions of genes, signaling pathways, and disease-related biological processes will be greater within these libraries due to their natural product origin and/or """"""""drug-like"""""""" structures.

Public Health Relevance

Microbial natural products have a rich history for their utility as tools for identification of novel therapeutic targets for human diseases and as lead structures for drug development. This project proposes to generate diverse molecular libraries from endosymbiotic fungi with potential to interact with cellular targets and serve as lead molecules for drug development and therefore will have a great impact on public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-U (50))
Program Officer
Lees, Robert G
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Arizona
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
Zip Code
Luo, Jian-Guang; Xu, Ya-Ming; Sandberg, Dustin C et al. (2017) Montagnuphilones A-G, Azaphilones from Montagnulaceae sp. DM0194, a Fungal Endophyte of Submerged Roots of Persicaria amphibia. J Nat Prod 80:76-81
Gubiani, Juliana R; Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Shi, Taoda et al. (2017) An epigenetic modifier induces production of (10'S)-verruculide B, an inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatases by Phoma sp. nov. LG0217, a fungal endophyte of Parkinsonia microphylla. Bioorg Med Chem 25:1860-1866
Bashyal, Bharat P; Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Tillotson, Joseph et al. (2017) Chlorinated Dehydrocurvularins and Alterperylenepoxide A from Alternaria sp. AST0039, a Fungal Endophyte of Astragalus lentiginosus. J Nat Prod 80:427-433
Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Gunaherath, G M Kamal B; Chapla, Vanessa M et al. (2016) Oxaspirol B with p97 Inhibitory Activity and Other Oxaspirols from Lecythophora sp. FL1375 and FL1031, Endolichenic Fungi Inhabiting Parmotrema tinctorum and Cladonia evansii. J Nat Prod 79:340-52
Shekhar-Guturja, Tanvi; Gunaherath, G M Kamal B; Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri et al. (2016) Dual action antifungal small molecule modulates multidrug efflux and TOR signaling. Nat Chem Biol 12:867-75
Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Xu, Yaming; Arnold, A Elizabeth et al. (2015) Pulvinulin A, graminin C, and cis-gregatin B--new natural furanones from Pulvinula sp. 11120, a fungal endophyte of Cupressus arizonica. Nat Prod Commun 10:107-11
Xu, Ya-Ming; Bashyal, Bharat P; Liu, Mangping X et al. (2015) Cytotoxic Cytochalasins and Other Metabolites from Xylariaceae sp. FL0390, a Fungal Endophyte of Spanish Moss. Nat Prod Commun 10:1655-8
Xu, Ya-ming; Mafezoli, Jair; Oliveira, Maria C F et al. (2015) Anteaglonialides A-F and Palmarumycins CE(1)-CE(3) from Anteaglonium sp. FL0768, a Fungal Endophyte of the Spikemoss Selaginella arenicola. J Nat Prod 78:2738-47
Wei, Han; Xu, Ya-ming; Espinosa-Artiles, Patricia et al. (2015) Sesquiterpenes and other constituents of Xylaria sp. NC1214, a fungal endophyte of the moss Hypnum sp. Phytochemistry 118:102-8
Bashyal, Bharat P; Wellensiek, Brian P; Ramakrishnan, Rajesh et al. (2014) Altertoxins with potent anti-HIV activity from Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se, a fungal endophyte of Quercus emoryi. Bioorg Med Chem 22:6112-6

Showing the most recent 10 out of 15 publications