Cytotoxic pheofungins from an engineered fungus impaired in posttranslational protein modification

Kirstin Scherlach, Hans-Wilhelm Nuetzmann, Volker Schroeckh, Hans-Martin Dahse, Axel A Brakhage, Christian Hertweck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


What makes a fungus blush? The deletion of a gene that is required for global protein N-acetylation triggers the production of unprecedented metabolites in Aspergillus nidulans. The pronounced red pigmentation of the engineered mutant is caused by pheofungins (benzothiazinone chromophores), the biogenesis of which is strikingly similar to those of pheomelanins found in red bird feathers and hair of Celtic origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9843-7
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie-International Edition
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2011


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Benzopyrans
  • Biological Products
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytotoxins
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Genetic Engineering
  • HeLa Cells
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thiazines
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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