Biotechnological production and bioactivities of mollisin and two new, structurally related fungal naphthoquinone metabolites.
The antibiotic and fungicidal deuteromycete Mollisia caesia Sacc. was cultivated on a large scale. Mollisin (1; = 8-(dichloroacetyl)-5-hydroxy-2,7-dimethylnaphthalene-1,4-dione) and two new tri- and tetrahalogenated metabolites, mollisin A (2) and mollisin B (3) were isolated from M. caesia. The formation of 2 and 3 indicates that the biosynthesis of these compounds starts from a C(16) polyketide (Scheme). Mollisin (1) shows strong fungicidal activities against Sclerophoma pityophila (Corda) v. Höhn and Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref., which is one of the most-destructive basidiomycetes in coniferous forests. The metabolites 1-3 possess interesting pharmacological activities in assays in search of anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative drugs.