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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Renewable Product Technology Research

Title: Aureobasidium pullulans as a source of liamocins (heavy oils) with anticancer activity

item Manitchotpisit, Pennapa
item Watanapoksin, Ramida
item Price, Neil
item Bischoff, Kenneth
item Tayeh, Malatee
item Teeraworawit, Sudarat
item Kriwong, Saranya
item Leathers, Timothy - Tim

Submitted to: World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2014
Publication Date: 8/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Manitchotpisit, P., Watanapoksin, R., Price, N.P., Bischoff, K.M., Tayeh, M., Teeraworawit, S., Kriwong, S., Leathers, T.D. 2014. Aureobasidium pullulans as a source of liamocins (heavy oils) with anticancer activity. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 30(8):2199-2204.

Interpretive Summary: This research more closely examines the unique microbial heavy oils called “liamocins” produced by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. Fundamental information is needed on the production and potential uses of these bioproducts. Results showed that a distinct genetic group of strains is a promising source of liamocins, and that liamocins merit further examination of potential anticancer agents. Results are important to researchers developing novel renewable bioproducts.

Technical Abstract: Liamocins are structurally unique, heavier-than-water “oils” produced by certain strains of Aureobasidium pullulans. Nine strains of A. pullulans from phylogenetic clades 8, 9, and 11 were examined for the first time for production of liamocins. Strains in these clades have only been isolated from tropical environments, and all strains tested here were from various locations in Thailand. Strains RSU 9, RSU 21, and RSU 29, all from clade 11, produced from 7.0 to 8.6 g liamocins/l from medium containing 5% sucrose. These are the highest yields of liamocins that we have found thus far. These strains also produced from 9.4 to 17 g pullulan/l. The structural identity of liamocins was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS). Liamocins from A. pullulans strains RSU 9 and RSU 21 inhibited two human breast cancer cell lines and a human cervical cancer cell line (IC50 of approx. 30-60 µg liamocins/ml) but was not toxic to a normal cell line. Liamocins weakly inhibited a strain of Enterococcus faecalis, but did not inhibit strains of Lactobacillus fermentum, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, A. pullulans phylogenetic clade 11 is a promising source of liamocins, and these compounds merit further examination as potential anticancer agents.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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