Cytotoxic and other metabolites of Aspergillus inhabiting the rhizosphere of Sonoran desert plants. Academic Article uri icon


  • In a study to discover potential anticancer agents from rhizosphere fungi of Sonoran desert plants cytotoxic EtOAc extracts of four Aspergillus strains have been investigated. Two new metabolites, terrequinone A (1) and terrefuranone (2), along with Na-acetyl aszonalemin (LL-S490beta) (3) were isolated from As. terreus occurring in the rhizosphere of Ambrosia ambrosoides, whereas As. terreus inhabiting the rhizosphere of an unidentified Brickellia sp. afforded dehydrocurvularin (4), 11-methoxycurvularin (5), and 11-hydroxycurvularin (6). As. cervinus isolated from the rhizosphere of Anicasanthus thurberi contained two new compounds, 4R*,5S*-dihydroxy-3-methoxy-5-methylcyclohex-2-enone (7) and 6-methoxy-5(6)-dihydropenicillic acid (8), in addition to penicillic acid (9). Penicillic acid was also isolated from As. wentii occurring in the rhizosphere of Larrea tridentata. The structures of 1-9 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods and chemical derivatizations. Acetylation of 2 afforded 14-acetylterrefuranone (13) and 14-deoxy-13(14)-dehydroterrefuranone (14). Metabolites 1-9, the dienone 14, and 5(6)-dihydropenicillic acid (16) were evaluated for cytotoxicity in a panel of four human cancer cell lines and in normal human primary fibroblast cells. Compounds 4 and 5 displayed considerable cytotoxicity, whereas 1, 6, 9, and 14 were found to be moderately active, with 6 and 9 exhibiting selective cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines compared with the normal fibroblast cells.

published proceedings

  • J Nat Prod

author list (cited authors)

  • He, J., Wijeratne, E., Bashyal, B. P., Zhan, J., Seliga, C. J., Liu, M. X., ... Gunatilaka, A.

citation count

  • 95

complete list of authors

  • He, Jian||Wijeratne, EM Kithsiri||Bashyal, Bharat P||Zhan, Jixun||Seliga, Christopher J||Liu, Manping X||Pierson, Elizabeth E||Pierson, Leland S||VanEtten, Hans D||Gunatilaka, AA Leslie

publication date

  • December 2004