Biosynthetic investigation of phomopsins reveals a widespread pathway for ribosomal natural products in Ascomycetes

Wei Ding, Wan Qiu Liu, Youli Jia, Yongzhen Li, Wilfred A. Van Der Donk, Qi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Production of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) has rarely been reported in fungi, even though organisms of this kingdom have a long history as a prolific source of natural products. Here we report an investigation of the phomopsins, antimitotic mycotoxins. We show that phomopsin is a fungal RiPP and demonstrate the widespread presence of a pathway for the biosynthesis of a family of fungal cyclic RiPPs, which we term dikaritins.We characterize PhomMas an S-adenosylmethionine- dependent α-N-methyltransferase that converts phomopsin A to an N,N-dimethylated congener (phomopsin E), and show that the methyltransferases involved in dikaritin biosynthesis have evolved differently and likely have broad substrate specificities. Genome mining studies identified eight previously unknown dikaritins in different strains, highlighting the untapped capacity of RiPP biosynthesis in fungi and setting the stage for investigating the biological activities and unknown biosynthetic transformations of this family of fungal natural products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3521-3526
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 29 2016


  • Biosynthesis
  • Methyltransferase
  • Mycotoxin
  • Posttranslational modification
  • RiPP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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