Magic mushrooms break on through to biosynthetic reality

Although psilocybin has long been regarded with suspicion by law enforcement [in some regions], it has been coming clean on the biosynthetic front. Details of psilocybin’s enzymatic synthesis have been uncovered by scientists based at the University of Jena and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology.

Starting with 4-hydroxy-L-tryptophan and using three of the four fungal enzymes, the scientists were able to enzymatically synthesize psilocybin by a simple method in a combined reaction. For centuries, Central American cultures considered Psilocybe mushrooms to be divine and used them for spiritual purposes. More recently, they have been called magic mushrooms and used for their hallucinogenic effects. These mushroom drugs may soon also be in use as pharmaceuticals that treat the existential anxiety of advanced-stage cancer patients, depression, and nicotine addiction. Given the pharmaceutical industry’s renewed interest in psilocybin, the results from the current study may lay the foundation for psilocybin’s biotechnological production.

Original Article (Geneng News):
Magic Mushrooms Break on Through to Biosynthetic Reality
Artwork Fair Use: Amanita77

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