To determine the best sources of novel, biologically active metabolites, both endophytic fungi (plant isolates) and fungi associated with algae were isolated from plants and algae from marine habitats of the North, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico. Following preselection of the isolates according to taxon and metabolic profiles, almost all were active in at least one of the tests for antibacterial, antifungal, and/or herbicidal activities. Metabolites isolated from the culture extracts belonged to diverse structural groups; 42% were previously unknown structures. Compared to fungi associated with algae, endophytic fungi were a better source of novel metabolites and antifungal culture extracts; they produced a higher number of metabolites per fungus. Microsphaeropsis spp. and Coniothyrium spp. synthesized the highest numbers of novel metabolites per isolate, and Geniculosporium, Nodulisporium and Phomopsis the greatest numbers of metabolites per isolate. Based on the proportion of novel to known metabolites, endophytic fungi from marine environments equalled endophytes from terrestrial habitats. Metabolic profiles (HPLC-DAD) of the saprophytic, marine fungi belonging to Dendryphiella spp. from diverse temperate and subtropical locations revealed that geographical source of the isolates had little qualitative effect on secondary metabolite production in this genus.
Specimens of Suberites domuncula that had been cultured in aquaria for 4 weeks were analyzed for their associated fungi. A total of 81 fungal strains belonging to 20 different genera was isolated and identified by morphological and molecular methods. The most frequently isolated taxa were Cladosporium spp., Penicillium spp., Petriella sp., Phialophora spp. and Engyodontiumalbum. Based on chromatographic and mass spectrometric analysis of fungal extracts, as well as on bioassay results, Aspergillus ustus, Penicillium sp., Petriella sp. and Scopulariopsis sp. were selected for in-depth analysis of their natural products. A total of 19 different fungal metabolites, including three new natural products, was isolated and structurally identified. A. ustus yielded two sesquiterpenes, a drimane derivative and deoxyuvidin, as well as a sesterterpene ophiobolin H. The drimane derivative had an ED50 value against L5178Y cells of 1.9 μg ml-1in vitro. The crude extract of Petriella sp. was also strongly cytotoxic against the L5178Y cell line. The cyclic tetrapeptide WF-3161 was primarily responsible for the activity; the ED50 value was <0.1 μg ml-1. It was identical to the known compound WF-3161 and had been previously isolated from Petriella guttulata. In addition to WF-3161, three further natural products were obtained and unequivocally identified as new derivatives of infectopyrone by one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and by mass spectroscopy. Of the new compounds, only dihydroinfectopyrone was active against L5178Y cells; the ED50 value was 0.2 μg ml-1. Penicillium sp. yielded the largest number of metabolites. Viridicatin, viridicatol, cyclopenin and cyclopenol suppressed larval growth of the polyphagous pest insect Spodoptera littoralis when incorporated into an artificial diet at an arbitrarily chosen concentration of 237 ppm. Viridicatol was the most active compound and had an ED50 value of ca. 50 ppm. Scopulariopsis sp. yielded three metabolites, including the known acetylcholinesterase inhibitors quinolactacin A1 and A2.
KEPI is a protein kinase C-potentiated inhibitory protein for type 1 Ser/Thr protein phosphatases. We found no or reduced expression of KEPI in breast cancer cell lines, breast tumors and metastases in comparison to normal breast cell lines and tissues, respectively. KEPI protein expression and ubiquitous localization was detected with a newly generated antibody. Ectopic KEPI expression in MCF7 breast cancer cells induced differential expression of 95 genes, including the up-regulation of the tumor suppressors EGR1 (early growth response 1) and PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog), which is regulated by EGR1. We further show that the up-regulation of EGR1 in MCF7/KEPI cells is mediated by MEK-ERK signaling. The inhibition of this pathway by the MEK inhibitor UO126 led to a strong decrease in EGR1 expression in MCF7/KEPI cells. These results reveal a novel role for KEPI in the regulation of the tumor suppressor gene EGR1 via activation of the MEK-ERK MAPK pathway.