Browned off

Enzyme activity of tyrosinase is involved in insect development processes but also in human aging, the development of melanoma, wound healing, and even in the browning of fruits and vegetables. So, the discovery of inhibitors when screen insecticidal fungi is an important move towards novel agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Researchers at Anhui Agricultural University, in Hefei, China, have identified from Paecilomyces gunnii, the compound paecilomycone A, which is very similar to the known anti-HIV target funalenone, a phenalenone. This work may well point the way to not only new types of natural insecticides based on the fungal defence activity that side-step the potential harm to mammals of neurotoxic pesticides, but may also lead to a range of new drugs for various infectious human diseases.