Sulfur containing compounds from Fungi Chapter uri icon


  • Sulfur contributes greatly to the chemical richness of nature and, due to its unique properties, enables essential biological interactions that no other element can. Sulfur-containing compounds are bioactive/nutraceuticals substances from different sources, including fungi. They comprise sulfur atoms that are cyclically or noncyclically bonded to a cyanate group or a carbon atom. Sulfur-containing compounds, already identified in various mushrooms species, include compounds such as ergothioneine (EGT), glutathione (GSH), and lenthionine (LT). These compounds exhibit important therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anti-neurodegenerative, and antiplatelet characteristics potentially useful in the treatment of a variety of disorders and diseases, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes. The purpose of this chapter is to explain the generally recognized sulfur-containing compounds from fungi covering the distribution in species, and genera, as well as the extraction and identification by contemporary analytical techniques. The biosynthetic elements of fungal sulfur compounds, as well as the state of art concerning their biological activities, are also discussed.
  • This work was founded by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and by Fundação BPI La Caixa, within call POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031309 and project titled “AquaeVitae - Água Termal Como Fonte de Vida e Saúde” and “AquaValor—Centro de Valorização e Transferência de Tecnologia da Água” (NORTE-01-0246-FEDER-000053), supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The authors would like to thank the project UIDB/04033/2020 (CITAB-Center for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, National Funds through the Portuguese funding agency and R & D project Fungi4Health—Valorization of agro-industrial co-products by mushroom production and development of functional food and natural cosmetics (NORTE-01-0247-FEDER-070171), with the financial support of the European Development Fund Regional (FEDER) through the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program (POCI). AB would like to thank the Operational Programme from the budget of the Central Region of Portugal (ref. CENTRO-04-3559-FSE-000162) and the Research Unit for Inland Development from Polytechnic of Guarda.

publication date

  • 2023