Biosynthetic versatility of marine-derived fungi on the delivery of novel antibacterial agents against priority pathogens
Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 May 26;140:111756. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111756. Online ahead of print.
Despite the increasing number of novel marine natural products being reported from fungi in the last three decades, to date only the broad-spectrum cephalosporin C can be tracked back as marine fungal-derived drug. Cephalosporins were isolated in the early 1940s from a strain of Acremonium chrysogenum obtained in a sample collected in sewage water in the Sardinian coast, preliminary findings allowing the discovery of cephalosporin C. Since then, bioprospection of marine fungi has been enabling the identification of several metabolites with antibacterial effects, many of which proving to be active against multi-drug resistant strains, available data suggesting also that some might fuel the pharmaceutical firepower towards some of the bacterial pathogens classified as a priority by the World Health Organization. Considering the success of their terrestrial counterparts on the discovery and development of several antibiotics that are nowadays used in the clinical setting, marine fungi obviously come into mind as producers of new prototypes to counteract antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are no longer responding to available treatments. We mainly aim to provide a snapshot on those metabolites that are likely to proceed to advanced preclinical development, not only based on their antibacterial potency, but also considering their targets and modes of action, and activity against priority pathogens.