Trichothioneic acid, a new antioxidant compound produced by the fungal strain Trichoderma virens FKI-7573

Rei Miyano, Hirotaka Matsuo, Takayuki Mokudai, Yoshihiko Noguchi, Mayuka Higo, Kenichi Nonaka, Yoshimi Niwano, Toshiaki Sunazuka, Kazuro Shiomi, Yōko Takahashi, Satoshi Ōmura, Takuji Nakashima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A new nitrogen-containing compound, trichothioneic acid, was discovered from the metabolites of fungal strain FKI-7573 using a mass spectrometry screening method guided by odd number of molecular weights, which indicates compounds that contain an odd number of nitrogen atoms. Strain FKI-7573 was isolated from soil collected in Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan, and identified as Trichoderma virens by a sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region, including 5.8S ribosomal RNA. The structure of trichothioneic acid was determined by mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electronic circular dichroism spectra, and chemical degradation analyses. These analyses revealed that trichothioneic acid consists of heptelidic acid and L-ergothioneine, and contains three nitrogen atoms. Trichothioneic acid exhibited hydroxyl radical-scavenging and singlet oxygen-quenching activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-513
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Ergothioneine
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Singlet oxygen
  • Trichoderma virens
  • Trichothioneic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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