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Biosynthesis of trichothecenes and apotrichothecenes

Zamir, L.O., Nikolakakis, A., Sauriol, F., Mamer, O.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1999 v.47 no.5 pp. 1823-1835
Fusarium culmorum, trichothecenes, biosynthesis, metabolites, isotope labeling, deuterium, chemical structure
Fusarium culmorum produces two major trichothecenes, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol and sambucinol, and some minor apotrichothecenes. It was desired to investigate if during their biosynthesis a C-11-keto intermediate was involved. To verify this postulate, trichodiene, a known precursor to trichothecenes, was synthesized with two deuteriums at C-11 and one at C-15. It was then fed to F. culmorum cultures, and the derived metabolites were purified and analyzed. The results ruled out the involvement of an 11-keto intermediate but revealed two novel apotrichothecenes. The characterization of their structures suggested that one of the 2-hydroxy-11alpha-apotrichothecene stereoisomers (2alpha or 2beta) could be converted to sambucinol. These apotrichothecenes were therefore synthesized labeled specifically with two deuteriums at C-4 and C-15 and fed to F. culmorum cultures. Indeed, the result established for the first time that 2alpha-hydroxy-11alpha-apotrichothecene was a precursor to sambucinol. A biosynthetic scheme for the production of trichothecenes and apotrichothecenes is described.