Potent and selective inhibitors of human monoamine oxidase a from an endogenous lichen fungus diaporthe mahothocarpus

Geum Seok Jeong, Prima F. Hillman, Myung Gyun Kang, Sungbo Hwang, Jong Eun Park, Sang Jip Nam, Daeui Park, Hoon Kim

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6 Scopus citations


Using 126 endogenous lichen fungus (ELF) extracts, inhibitory activities against monoamine oxidases (MAOs) and cholinesterases (ChEs) were evaluated. Among them, extract ELF29 of the endogenous fungus Diaporthe mahothocarpus of the lichen Cladonia symphycarpia showed the highest inhibitory activity against hMAO-A. Compounds alternariol (AT), 5-hydroxy-alternariol (HAT), and mycoepoxydiene (MED), isolated from the extract, had potent inhibitory activities against hMAO-A with IC50 values of 0.020, 0.31, and 8.68 µM, respectively. AT, HAT, and MED are reversible competitive inhibitors of hMAO-A with Ki values of 0.0075, 0.116, and 3.76 µM, respectively. The molecular docking studies suggested that AT, HAT, and MED had higher binding affinities for hMAO-A (−9.1, −6.9, and −5.6 kcal/mol, respectively) than for hMAO-B (−6.3, −5.2, and −3.7 kcal/mol, respectively). The relative tight binding might result from a hydrogen bond interaction of the three compounds with a Tyr444 residue in hMAO-A, whereas no hydrogen bond interaction was proposed in hMAO-B. In silico pharmacokinetics, the three compounds showed high gastrointestinal absorption without violating Lipinski’s five rules, but only MED showed high probability to cross the blood–brain barrier. These results suggest that AT, HAT, and MED are candidates for treating neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number876
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2019R1A2C1088967) and by the Korea Institute of Toxicology, Republic of Korea (1711133838).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 5-hydroxy-alternariol
  • Alternariol
  • Diaporthe mahothocarpus
  • Docking simulation
  • Endogenous lichen fungus
  • Mycoepoxydiene
  • Selective monoamine oxidase A inhibitor


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