Endolichenic fungi: a promising medicinal microbial resource to discover bioactive natural molecules—an update

Zhang W., Ran Q., Li H. & Lou H.
Journal of Fungi
10(2): 99 [49 p.]
Lichens are some of the most unique fungi and are naturally encountered as symbiotic biological organisms that usually consist of fungal partners (mycobionts) and photosynthetic organisms (green algae and cyanobacteria). Due to their distinctive growth environments, including hot deserts, rocky coasts, Arctic tundra, toxic slag piles, etc., they produce a variety of biologically meaningful and structurally novel secondary metabolites to resist external environmental stresses. The endofungi that live in and coevolve with lichens can also generate abundant secondary metabolites with novel structures, diverse skeletons, and intriguing bioactivities due to their mutualistic symbiosis with hosts, and they have been considered as strategically significant medicinal microresources for the discovery of pharmaceutical lead compounds in the medicinal industry. They are also of great importance in the fundamental research field of natural product chemistry. In this work, we conducted a comprehensive review and systematic evaluation of the secondary metabolites of endolichenic fungi regarding their origin, distribution, structural characteristics, and biological activity, as well as recent advances in their medicinal applications, by summarizing research achievements since 2015. Moreover, the current research status and future research trends regarding their chemical components are discussed and predicted. A systematic review covering the fundamental chemical research advances and pharmaceutical potential of the secondary metabolites from endolichenic fungi is urgently required to facilitate our better understanding, and this review could also serve as a critical reference to provide valuable insights for the future research and promotion of natural products from endolichenic fungi. Keywords: lichens; endolichenic fungi; secondary metabolites; biological activity.
Thursday, 25 January 2024 23:13