Prealamethicin F50 and related peptaibols from Trichoderma arundinaceum: validation of their authenticity via in situ chemical analysis†
In the field of natural products chemistry, a common question pertains to the authenticity of an isolated compound, i.e. are the interesting side chains biosynthesized naturally or an artefact of the isolation/purification processes? The droplet-liquid microjunction-surface sampling probe (droplet-LMJ-SSP) coupled to a hyphenated system (UPLC-UV-HRESIMS) empowers the analysis of natural product sources in situ, providing data on the biosynthetic timing and spatial distribution of secondary metabolites. In this study the droplet-LMJ-SSP was utilized to validate the authenticity of two new peptaibols (2 and 3) as biosynthesized secondary metabolites, even though both of them had structural features that could be perceived as artefacts. Compounds 2 and 3 were isolated from the scaled up fermentation of Trichoderma arundinaceum (strain MSX70741), along with a new member of the trichobrevin BIII complex (1), and four known compounds (4–7). The structures of the isolates were established using a set of spectroscopic and spectrometric methods, and their absolute configurations were determined by Marfey's analysis. The cytotoxic activity of compounds 1, 3, 4 and 6 was evaluated against a panel of cancer cell lines, where cytotoxic activity in the single digit μM range was observed.