Pharmaceutical Biology

Peniphenone and Penilactone Formation in Penicillium crustosum via 1,4-Michael Additions of ortho-Quinone Methide from Hydroxyclavatol to γ Butyrolactones from Crustosic Acid

Prof. Dr. Shu-Ming Li, University of Marburg

Natural products from microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi continue to serve as an important source of pharmaceuticals. Investigations into their origin in nature are becoming increasingly important. The genetic and enzymatic information gained from these studies serves as a basis for improving the production and discovery of new natural products through modern technology. The research team investigated penilactones A and B, rare fungal metabolites isolated from Penicillium crustosum. Natural products are usually formed by the interaction of secondary metabolites. The work of the research team on the formation of penilactones and penipenones shows that spontaneous, non-enzymatic reactions must also be taken into account in the investigations of natural product biosynthesis.