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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microbial conversion products of leptomycin B.

Leptomycin B (LMB), a secondary metabolite produced by Streptomyces sp. strain ATS 1287, with known antifungal and antitumor effects, inhibits the nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 regulatory protein Rev and exhibits significant antiproliferative activity. Since LMB itself turned out to be distinctly cytotoxic, a bioconversion screening with a selected set of 29 bacterial and 72 fungal strains was performed in order to obtain metabolites of LMB with reduced antiproliferative effects. Several derivatives of LMB, more polar than the parent compound and produced in yields of > 5%, were detected. Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis indicated the type of bioconversion. Fermentations (1-liter scale) of those strains with high rates of transformation were suitable for isolation and characterization of the most prominent metabolites. Thus, bioconversion of LMB with Aspergillus flavus ATCC 9170 and Emericella unguis ATCC 13431 served for isolation of the novel derivatives 26-hydroxy-LMB (30% was the concentration of the metabolite [with respect to LMB] used for bioconversion) and LMB-24-glutaminamide (90%), respectively. Streptomyces rimosus ATCC 28893 converted LMB into 4,11-dihydroxy-LMB (13%) and 2,3-dihydro-LMB (55%). Although the antiproliferative effects of the LMB metabolites could be reduced through microbial conversion, none of these metabolites inhibited the nuclear export of Rev better than LMB itself.[1]


  1. Microbial conversion products of leptomycin B. Kuhnt, M., Bitsch, F., Ponelle, M., Sanglier, J.J., Wang, Y., Wolff, B. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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