RESULTS: Metabolite profile analysis of the yeast culture extracts by GC-MS showed the production of several sesquiterpene alcohols (C15H26O), including cadinols and germacrene D-4-ol as major products. Other detected sesquiterpenes include selina-6-en-4-ol, β-elemene, β-cubebene, and cedrene. Two purified major compounds namely (+)-torreyol and α-cadinol synthesised by GME3638 and GME3634 respectively, are stereoisomers and their chemical structures were confirmed by (1)H and (13)C NMR. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that GME3638 and GME3634 are a pair of orthologues, and are grouped together with terpene synthases that synthesise cadinenes and related sesquiterpenes. (+)-Torreyol and α-cadinol were tested against a panel of human cancer cell lines and the latter was found to exhibit selective potent cytotoxicity in breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF7) with IC50 value of 3.5 ± 0.58 μg/ml while α-cadinol is less active (IC50 = 18.0 ± 3.27 μg/ml).
CONCLUSIONS: This demonstrates that yeast-based genome mining, guided by transcriptomics, is a promising approach for uncovering bioactive compounds from medicinal mushrooms.