Chloromethane, Methyl Donor in Veratryl Alcohol Biosynthesis in Phanerochaete chrysosporium and Other Lignin-Degrading Fungi.

Harper DB, Buswell JA, Kennedy JT, Hamilton JT.

Department of Food and Agricultural Chemistry, The Queen’s University of Belfast, and Food and Agricultural Chemistry Research Division, Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, and Department of Biology, Paisley College of Technology, Paisley PA1 2BE, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Chloromethane, a gaseous natural product implicated in methylation processes in Phellinus pomaceus, has been shown to act as methyl donor in veratryl alcohol biosynthesis in the lignin-degrading fungi Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Phlebia radiata, and Coriolus versicolor, none of which released detectable amounts of CH(3)Cl during growth. When P. chrysosporium was grown in a medium containing CH(3)Cl, levels of CH(3) incorporation into the 3- and 4-O-methyl groups of veratryl alcohol were very high and initially similar to those observed when the medium was supplemented with l-[methyl-H(3)]methionine. When CH(3)Cl was added to cultures actively synthesizing veratryl alcohol, incorporation of CH(3) was very rapid, with 81% of veratryl alcohol labeled after 12 h. By contrast, incorporation of CH(3) from l-[methyl-H(3)]methionine was comparatively slow, attaining 10% after 12 h. It is proposed that these lignin-degrading fungi possess a tightly channeled multienzyme system in which CH(3)Cl biosynthesis is closely coupled to CH(3)Cl utilization for methylation of veratryl alcohol precursors.

PMID: 16348350 [PubMed]PMCID: PMC184980