In a search for new inhibitors of the IFN-gamma mediated signal transduction in HeLa S3 cells using secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) as reporter gene, the novel pyran-dione trichodion was isolated from fermentations of the imperfect fungus Trichosporiella sp. 20-95. The compound inhibits the IFN-gamma mediated expression of the reporter gene with IC(50) values of 21-42 microM (5-10 microgram/ml). The NF-kappaB and AP-1 mediated expression of the reporter gene are inhibited with IC(50) values of 42-84 microM (10-20 microgram/ml) and 21 microM (5 microgram/ml) respectively. Western blotting with COX-2 and NOS II antibodies showed that the expression of both proinflammatory enzymes is almost completely inhibited at 21-42 microM (5-10 microgram/ml) in LPS/IFN-gamma stimulated J774 mouse macrophages. Studies on the mode of action of the compound revealed that the inhibition of the NF-kappaB dependent pathway is due to the stabilization of the IkappaB protein and the inhibition of the IFN-gamma dependent signaling is caused by an inhibition of the phosphorylation of the STAT1alpha transcription factor.