Date Published: December 31, 2015
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Author(s): Manaf AlMatar, Essam A. Makky.
Fungi are important natural product sources that have enormous potential for the production of novel compounds for use in pharmacology, agricultural applications and industry. Compared with other natural sources such as plants, fungi are highly diverse but understudied. However, research on Cladosporium cladosporioides revealed the existence of bioactive products such as p-methylbenzoic acid, ergosterol peroxide (EP) and calphostin C as well as enzymes including pectin methylesterase (PME), polygalacturonase (PG) and chlorpyrifos hydrolase. p-Methylbenzoic acid has ability to synthesise 1,5-benzodiazepine and its derivatives, polyethylene terephthalate and eicosapentaenoic acid. EP has anticancer, antiangiogenic, antibacterial, anti-oxidative and immunosuppressive properties. Calphostin C inhibits protein kinase C (PKC) by inactivating both PKC-epsilon and PKC-alpha. In addition, calphostin C stimulates apoptosis in WEHI-231 cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. Based on the stimulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress in some types of cancer, calphostin C has also been evaluated as a potential photodynamic therapeutic agent. Methylesterase (PME) and PG have garnered attention because of their usage in the food processing industry and significant physiological function in plants. Chlorpyrifos, a human, animal and plant toxin, can be degraded and eliminated by chlorpyrifos hydrolase.
The genus Cladosporium, identified by Link for the first time in 1815, is characterised by the absence of a sexual proliferation phase; therefore, it is classified into the Fungi Imperfecti (Deuteromycota) group. This genus belongs to the mitosporic Ascomycotic phylum, subphylum Pezizomycota, class Dothideomycetes, family Mycosphaerellaceae and contains approximately 500 species (De Hoog et al. 1995; Okada et al. 1996). Cladosporium, species are most frequently found in outdoor and indoor environments, spoiled organic matter and are considered as food important contaminants (Dixon and Polak-Wyss 1991; De Hoog et al. 2000; San-Martin et al. 2005). Additionally, some Cladosporium spp. can develop even on the surface of glass fibres and inside water pipes (Macher 1999; Johanning 1999). These fungi can utilise different growth substrates, such as, wood plants, dead plants, food, soil, straw and textiles (Tasić and Miladinović-Tasić 2007). Several species of this genus have been associated with fish diseases (Otto 2000). The common ancestor has been identified for only 15 species of Cladosporium. The most isolated species are Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Cladosporium herbarum and Cladosporium elatum (De Hoog et al. 1995; Masclaux et al. 1995). In contrast, many species of Cladosporium are also able to produce some secondary metabolites such as, antibiotics which are inhibitors of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans (Gallo et al. 2004). Furthermore, some Cladosporium species are efficient biological insecticides, particularly against insects that have developed resistance to chemical insecticides (Abdel-Baky and Abdel-Salam 2003).
Fungi are one of the most important groups of organisms on the planet, therefore, additional research to better characterise fungi should be performed. Recognised as an important and novel resource for natural bioactive products, fungi have potential applications in various domains such as medicine, the food industry and agriculture. Recently, research has been oriented towards investigating novel, natural bioactive products derived from fungi because of the declining discovery rate of active novel chemical entities. C. cladosporioides has been poorly studied despite its rich bioactive compound content, production of several enzymes and decreased risk compared with other extensively studied fungi. To date, there is scarce information regarding the bioactive compounds and secreted enzymes present in C. cladosporioides. However, studies that have been conducted on C. cladosporioides discovered bioactive compounds including p-methylbenzoic acid, EP and calphostin C as well as enzymes such as PME, PG and chlorpyrifos hydrolase.