We have discovered that certain species of fungi produce psilocybin without having any gene homology with the genes that are known to be necessary and sufficient for psilocybin production. This indicates an undiscovered, non-canonical pathway for psilocybin production that we intend to study. While the currently known psilocybin pathway is well characterized and subject to existing intellectual property claims, this novel, undiscovered pathway opens significant opportunity to stake out new IP for future licensing.
There is a growing body of evidence from clinical research supporting psilocybin as a therapeutic for mental disorders such as major depressive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, smoking and alcohol addiction, cluster headaches and cancer related or other end of life psychological distress. Psilocybin has also been noted for its anti-inflammatory effects by down regulating pro-inflammatory mediators. Our initial research set out to compare the genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of psilocybin across species known to produce psilocybin. This was done to look for non highly conserved sequences between these genes that may be exploitable as targets for genetic modification to optimize the production of psilocybin. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/benefits-of-medical-mushrooms https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352634/
It is currently known that there are seven genes that are both necessary and sufficient for the production of psilocybin. We performed a comparative, cross-species genomic analysis of these set of genes from eleven different species and compared them to a reference P. cubensis genome. Unexpectedly, we found that two species of fungi that are known to produce psilocybin contained no similar genes to those known to be needed for psilocybin production in P. cubensis. Therefore we concluded that there must be a novel and undiscovered pathway for psilocybin production that is present in these two species of fungi. The objective of this project is to investigate and elucidate this novel psilocybin pathway and explore ways and methods to optimize it.
We seek to elucidate and explore a novel, undiscovered production pathway for psilocybin in fungi.
Investigation for clinical applications for non-canonical psilocybin and associated molecules in target fungus.