Dichlorvos treatment of aflatoxigenic SYS-4 (NRRL 2999) or a versicolorin A-accumulating mutant, NIAH-9, resulted in accumulation of versiconol acetate (VOAc) and versiconal hemiacetal acetate (VHA), whereas the production of aflatoxins, versicolorin A (VA), and versiconol (VOH) decreased. In feeding experiments using another non-aflatoxigenic mutant, NIAH-26, aflatoxins were newly produced from each of VHA, VOAc, VOH, versicolorin B (VB) and versicolorin C (VC). In these experiments, aflatoxin production from VHA or VOAc was inhibited by dichlorvos, whereas that from each of VOH, VB and VC was insensitive to dichlorvos. In cell-free experiments using the cytosol fraction of NIAH-26, VHA was converted to VC (or VB) and a substance tentatively identified as versiconal (VHOH). By further addition of NADH or NADPH to the same reaction mixture, VOAc and VOH were also formed together with VC (VB) and VHOH. VOH was produced from VOAc irrespective of nicotinamide adenine nucleotide. Also, the incubation of VOH in the presence of NAD or NADP led to the formation of VC (VB). The production of VC (VB) and VHOH from VHA, and that of VOH from VOAc was inhibited by dichlorvos, whereas the production of VOAc from VHA, and that of VC (VB) from VOH, was insensitive to dichlorvos. These results indicate that a metabolic grid catalysed by dehydrogenase and esterase among VHA, VOAc, VOH and VHOH, and a reaction from VHOH to VC (VB) are involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. These enzyme activities were also detected when yeast extract peptone medium was used, or when SYS-2 was examined.


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