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      Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review

      1 , , 2
      3 Biotech
      Polysaccharides, β-Glucan, Anti-tumor agent, Apoptosis, Caspase

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          From time immemorial, mushrooms have been valued by humankind as a culinary wonder and folk medicine in Oriental practice. The last decade has witnessed the overwhelming interest of western research fraternity in pharmaceutical potential of mushrooms. The chief medicinal uses of mushrooms discovered so far are as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, hypocholesterolemic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-allergic, nephroprotective, and anti-microbial agents. The mushrooms credited with success against cancer belong to the genus Phellinus, Pleurotus, Agaricus, Ganoderma, Clitocybe, Antrodia, Trametes, Cordyceps, Xerocomus, Calvatia, Schizophyllum, Flammulina, Suillus, Inonotus, Inocybe, Funlia, Lactarius, Albatrellus, Russula, and Fomes. The anti-cancer compounds play crucial role as reactive oxygen species inducer, mitotic kinase inhibitor, anti-mitotic, angiogenesis inhibitor, topoisomerase inhibitor, leading to apoptosis, and eventually checking cancer proliferation. The present review updates the recent findings on the pharmacologically active compounds, their anti-tumor potential, and underlying mechanism of biological action in order to raise awareness for further investigations to develop cancer therapeutics from mushrooms. The mounting evidences from various research groups across the globe, regarding anti-tumor application of mushroom extracts unarguably make it a fast-track research area worth mass attention.

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          Most cited references84

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          Medicinal importance of fungal beta-(1-->3), (1-->6)-glucans.

          Non-cellulosic beta-glucans are now recognized as potent immunological activators, and some are used clinically in China and Japan. These beta-glucans consist of a backbone of glucose residues linked by beta-(1-->3)-glycosidic bonds, often with attached side-chain glucose residues joined by beta-(1-->6) linkages. The frequency of branching varies. The literature suggests beta-glucans are effective in treating diseases like cancer, a range of microbial infections, hypercholesterolaemia, and diabetes. Their mechanisms of action involve them being recognized as non-self molecules, so the immune system is stimulated by their presence. Several receptors have been identified, which include: dectin-1, located on macrophages, which mediates beta-glucan activation of phagocytosis and production of cytokines, a response co-ordinated by the toll-like receptor-2. Activated complement receptors on natural killer cells, neutrophils, and lymphocytes, may also be associated with tumour cytotoxicity. Two other receptors, scavenger and lactosylceramide, bind beta-glucans and mediate a series of signal pathways leading to immunological activation. Structurally different beta-glucans appear to have different affinities toward these receptors and thus generate markedly different host responses. However, the published data are not always easy to interpret as many of the earlier studies used crude beta-glucan preparations with, for the most part, unknown chemical structures. Careful choice of beta-glucan products is essential if their benefits are to be optimized, and a better understanding of how beta-glucans bind to receptors should enable more efficient use of their biological activities.
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            Glucans from fruit bodies of cultivated mushrooms Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus eryngii: Structure and potential prebiotic activity

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              Induction of apoptosis by cordycepin via reactive oxygen species generation in human leukemia cells.

              Cordycepin (3'-deoxyadenosin), a specific polyadenylation inhibitor, is the main functional component in Cordyceps militaris, one of the top three renowned traditional Chinese medicines. Cordycepin has been shown to possess many pharmacological activities including immunological stimulation, and anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-tumor effects. However, the mechanisms underlying its anti-cancer mechanisms are not yet understood. In this study, the apoptotic effects of cordycepin were investigated in human leukemia cells. Treatment with cordycepin significantly inhibited cell growth in a concentration-dependent manner by inducing apoptosis but not necrosis. This induction was associated with generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction, activation of caspases, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase protein. However, apoptosis induced by cordycepin was attenuated by caspase inhibitors, indicating an important role for caspases in cordycepin responses. Administration of N-acetyl-l-cysteine, a scavenger of ROS, also significantly inhibited cordycepin-induced apoptosis and activation of caspases. These results support a mechanism whereby cordycepin induces apoptosis of human leukemia cells through a signaling cascade involving a ROS-mediated caspase pathway. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                +91-9646054105 , seemabiotech83@gmail.com
                3 Biotech
                3 Biotech
                3 Biotech
                Springer-Verlag (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                25 November 2011
                25 November 2011
                March 2012
                : 2
                : 1
                : 1-15
                [1 ]Department of Biotechnology, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, 144402 Punjab India
                [2 ]Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, 781039 Assam India
                © The Author(s) 2011
                : 5 August 2011
                : 9 November 2011
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                © King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2012

                polysaccharides,β-glucan,anti-tumor agent,apoptosis,caspase


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