Soil fungi are known as an excellent source of antibacterial substances. The most commonly used compounds are those secreted by micellar (mold) fungi: penicillins and cephalosporins. These types of organisms are quite well studied and have been used for a long time, which is why bacteria have developed resistance to most of these antibiotics. Therefore, scientists need to constantly modify antimicrobial molecules to effectively destroy harmful bacteria.
Researchers of the First MSMU isolated a completely new antibacterial and antitumor substance from an alkalophilic strain of Emericellopsis alkalina, which lives in an alkaline environment unfavorable for other organisms. The high salinity and low availability of nutrients in their habitat lead to unique adaptations of these fungi, manifested in the creation of new biologically active compounds. One of them is a molecule from the class of peptaibols discovered by scientists. It is a small peptide of nine amino acids, including non-standard ones that cannot be encoded by a DNA sequence. To find out the structure of this compound, scientists used the method of nuclear magnetic resonance, based on changing the characteristics of atoms depending on how they are connected to each other. Peptaibol called americanising A — named type of organism from which it was received.
When studying the properties of this protein, it was found that it shows a very strong antifungal effect against the yeast Candida albicans and the mold fungus Aspergillus niger. After testing the antibiotic effect of the isolated substance, scientists found that it also kills some types of bacteria. In addition, the researchers identified the antitumor activity of emericellipsin A. the Mechanism of its action, as they suggested, is damage to the membranes of tumor cells.