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Phytochemistry. 2002 Mar;59(6):579-96.

The destruxins: synthesis, biosynthesis, biotransformation, and biological activity.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon SK, Canada S7N 5C9.


Destruxins, secondary metabolites first reported in 1961, are cyclic hexadepsipeptides composed of an alpha-hydroxy acid and five amino acid residues. The name "destruxin" is derived from "destructor" from the species Oospora destructor, the entomopathogenic fungus from which these metabolites were first isolated. Individual destruxins differ on the hydroxy acid, N-methylation, and R group of the amino acid residues; where established, the configurations of the amino acid residues are S, and those of the hydroxy acids are R. Destruxins exhibit a wide variety of biological activities, but are best known for their insecticidal and phytotoxic activities. The great interest in destruxins derives from their potential role as virulence factors in fungi, whether such microorganisms are useful insect biocontrol agents or detrimental, causing great plant disease epidemics. Reports on isolation, chemical structure determination, total synthesis, transformation by diverse organisms, and biological activity of destruxins and related metabolites are reviewed for the first time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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