Synthesis of the Fungal Metabolite YWA1 and Related Constructs as Tools to Study MelLec-Mediated Immune Response to Aspergillus Infections†

J Org Chem. 2021 May 7;86(9):6044-6055. doi: 10.1021/acs.joc.0c02324. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


We describe the chemical synthesis of the fungal naphthopyrones YWA1 and fonsecin B, as well as their functionalization with an amine-spacer arm and the conjugation of the resulting molecules to three different functional tags (i.e., biotin, Oregon green, 1-[3-(succinimidyloxycarbonyl)benzyl]-4-[5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-oxazolyl]pyridinium bromide (PyMPO)). The naphthopyrone-biotin and -PyMPO constructs maintained the ability to bind the C-type lectin receptor MelLec, whose interaction with immunologically active fungal metabolites (i.e., 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-(DHN)-melanin and YWA1) is a key step in host recognition and induction of protective immune responses against Aspergillus fumigatus. The fluorescent Fonsecin B-PyMPO construct 21 was used to selectively visualize MelLec-expressing cells, thus validating the potential of this strategy for studying the role and functions of MelLec in immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Melanins
  • Spores, Fungal


  • Melanins