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Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Feb 1;17(3):1361-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2008.12.009. Epub 2008 Dec 14.

Isolation, structure and biological activity of phomafungin, a cyclic lipodepsipeptide from a widespread tropical Phoma sp.

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Natural Products Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.


We isolated a cyclic lipodepsipeptide, phomafungin, from a Phoma sp. The distinct antifungal activity of phomafungin in the crude extract was initially discovered by mechanistic profiling in the Candida albicans fitness test. The purified compound contains a 28 member ring consisting of eight amino acids and a beta-hydroxy-gamma-methyl-hexadecanoic acid, and displays a broad spectrum of antifungal activity against Candida spp., Aspergillus fumigatus and Trichophyton mentagrophytes with MIC of 2-8 microg/ml, and toxicity to mice at 25 mg/kg. The linear peptide derived from opening of the lactone ring was devoid of antifungal activity as well as toxicity. Phomafungin has been identified in a number of Phoma spp. collected from Africa and the Indian and Pacific Ocean islands.

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