Screening fungi for the production of an inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase: Production of mevinolin by the fungi of the genus Pleurotus


Correspondence to: N. Gunde-Cimerman, National Institute of Chemistry, Hajdrihova 19, 61115 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Abstract We have tested 380 strains of our Fungal Culture Collection (MZKIBK), for the activity of the inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase, mevinolin. All fungal strains were cultivated in a two-step submerged fermentation on selected substrates. For the first screening, samples of broth extracts were tested by TLC and positive results were further evaluated by HPLC analysis. In addition to already known microbiol producers of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and some newly identified strains having moderate activity, we found that fungi of the basidiomycetous genus Pleurotus, especially species P. ostreatus, P. saca and P. sapidus, are an as yet unknown but promising source of the hypocholesterolaemic agent.