Metabolic response against sulfur-containing heterocyclic compounds by the lignin-degrading basidiomycete Coriolus versicolor.

Ichinose H, Nakamizo M, Wariishi H, Tanaka H.

Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The fungal conversions of sulfur-containing heterocyclic compounds were investigated using the lignin-degrading basidiomycete Coriolus versicolor. The fungus metabolized a series of sulfur compounds–25 structurally related thiophene derivatives–via several different pathways. Under primary metabolic conditions, C. versicolor utilized thiophenes, such as 2-hydroxymethyl-, 2-formyl-, and 2-carboxyl-thiophenes, as a nutrient sulfur source for growth; thus, the fungus degraded these compounds more effectively in a non-sulfur-containing medium than in conventional medium. The product analysis revealed that several redox reactions, decarboxylation reactions, and C-S cleavage reactions were involved in the fungal conversion of non-aromatic thiophenes. On the other hand, benzothiophene (BT) and dibenzothiophene (DBT) skeletons were converted to water-soluble products. All the products and metabolic intermediates were more hydrophilic than the starting substrates. These metabolic actions seemed to be a chemical stress response against exogenously added xenobiotics. These metabolic reactions were optimized under ligninolytic conditions, also suggesting the occurrence of a fungal xenobiotic response. Furthermore, the fungus converted a series of BTs and DBTs via several different pathways, which seemed to be controlled by the chemical structure of the substrates. DBT, 4-methylDBT, 4, 6-dimethylDBT, 2-methylBT, and 7-methylBT were immediately oxidized to their S-oxides. BTs and DBTs with the hydroxymethyl substituent were converted to their xylosides without S-oxidation. Those with carboxyl and formyl substituents were reduced to form a hydroxymethyl group, then xylosidated. These observations strongly suggested the involvement of a fungal substrate-recognition and metabolic response mechanism in the metabolism of sulfur-containing heterocyclic compounds by C. versicolor.

PMID: 11954800 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]