2000 Volume 53 Issue 12 Pages 1378-1384
Blasticidin A (1), an antibiotic, has strong inhibitory activity toward aflatoxin production by Aspergillus parasiticus. We prepared some derivatives of 1 and examined their biological activities. Among them, derivatives 3 and 4 without the tetramic acid moiety of 1 maintained inhibitory activity toward aflatoxin production, but did not show antifungal activity or toxicity. RT-PCR experiments indicated that derivatives 3 and 4 as well as 1 significantly reduced the expression of genes encoding aflatoxin biosynthetic enzymes (pksA, ver-1 and omtA) and a regulatory gene (aflR) in A. parasiticus. These results suggested that derivatives 3 and 4 can inhibit aflatoxin production more specifically than 1 by inhibiting an early step prior to the expression of aflR in the pathway of aflatoxin biosynthesis.