Identification of hispidin as a bioluminescent active compound and its recycling biosynthesis in the luminous fungal fruiting body
We previously showed that luminous fungi share a common mechanism in bioluminescence, and identified hispidin as a luciferin precursor in Neonothopanus nambi mycelium. Here we showed the presence of hispidin as a bioluminescent active compound at 25–1000 pmol g−1 in the fruiting bodies of Mycena chlorophos, Omphalotus japonicus, and Neonothopanus gardneri. These results suggest that luminous mushrooms contain hispidin as a luciferin precursor. We also found that non-luminous “young” fruiting bodies exhibited luminescence by hispidin treatment. Furthermore, we observed a gradual luminescence enhancement of the cell-free fruiting body extract by the addition of hispidin biosynthetic components, namely caffeic acid, ATP and malonyl-CoA. These findings suggest that continuous weak glow of luminous mushrooms is regulated by slow recycling biosynthesis of hispidin.