Polyketides, toxins and pigments in Penicillium marneffei

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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Penicillium marneffei (synonym: Talaromyces marneffei) is the most important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungus in China and Southeastern Asia. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in China and other Southeast Asian countries, has led to the emergence of P. marneffei infection as an important AIDS-defining condition. Recently, we published the genome sequence of P. marneffei. In the P. marneffei genome, 23 polyketide synthase genes and two polyketide synthase-non-ribosomal peptide synthase hybrid genes were identified. This number is much higher than those of Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum, important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungi in the Western world. Phylogenetically, these polyketide synthase genes were distributed evenly with their counterparts found in Aspergillus species and other fungi, suggesting that polyketide synthases in P. marneffei did not diverge from lineage-specific gene duplication through a recent expansion. Gene knockdown experiments and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector/electrospray ionization-quadruple time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that at least four of the polyketide synthase genes were involved in the biosynthesis of various pigments in P. marneffei, including melanin, mitorubrinic acid, mitorubrinol, monascorubrin, rubropunctatin, citrinin and ankaflavin, some of which were mycotoxins and virulence factors of the fungus.




Tam, E. W. T., Tsang, C. C., Lau, S. K. P., & Woo, P. C. Y. (2015, October 30). Polyketides, toxins and pigments in Penicillium marneffei. Toxins. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7114421

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