The immunomodulator PSK induces in vitro cytotoxic activity in tumour cell lines via arrest of cell cycle and induction of apoptosis.

Jiménez-Medina E, Berruguilla E, Romero I, Algarra I, Collado A, Garrido F, Garcia-Lora A.

Servicio de Análisis Clínicos e Inmunologia, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Universidad de Granada, Av, de las Fuerzas Armadas 2, 18014 Granada, Spain.


BACKGROUND: Protein-bound polysaccharide (PSK) is derived from the CM-101 strain of the fungus Coriolus versicolor and has shown anticancer activity in vitro and in in vivo experimental models and human cancers. Several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that PSK has great potential in adjuvant cancer therapy, with positive results in the adjuvant treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. These studies have suggested the efficacy of PSK as an immunomodulator of biological responses. The precise molecular mechanisms responsible for its biological activity have yet to be fully elucidated.

METHODS: The in vitro cytotoxic anti-tumour activity of PSK has been evaluated in various tumour cell lines derived from leukaemias, melanomas, fibrosarcomas and cervix, lung, pancreas and gastric cancers. Tumour cell proliferation in vitro was measured by BrdU incorporation and viable cell count. Effect of PSK on human peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) proliferation in vitro was also analyzed. Studies of cell cycle and apoptosis were performed in PSK-treated cells.

RESULTS: PSK showed in vitro inhibition of tumour cell proliferation as measured by BrdU incorporation and viable cell count. The inhibition ranged from 22 to 84%. Inhibition mechanisms were identified as cell cycle arrest, with cell accumulation in G0/G1 phase and increase in apoptosis and caspase-3 expression. These results indicate that PSK has a direct cytotoxic activity in vitro, inhibiting tumour cell proliferation. In contrast, PSK shows a synergistic effect with IL-2 that increases PBL proliferation.

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that PSK has cytotoxic activity in vitro on tumour cell lines. This new cytotoxic activity of PSK on tumour cells is independent of its previously described immunomodulatory activity on NK cells.

PMID: 18366723 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]PMCID: PMC2291471Free PMC Article

Enhanced production of laccase from Coriolus versicolor NCIM 996 by nutrient optimization using response surface methodology.

Arockiasamy S, Krishnan IP, Anandakrishnan N, Seenivasan S, Sambath A, Venkatasubramani JP.

Department of Biotechnology, Kalasalingam University, Krishnankoil, Tamil Nadu, India.


Plackett and Burman design criterion and central composite design were applied successfully for enhanced production of laccase by Coriolus versicolor NCIM 996 for the first time. Plackett and Burman design criterion was applied to screen the significance of ten nutrients on laccase production by C. versicolor NCIM 996. Out of the ten nutrients tested, starch, yeast extract, MnSO(4), MgSO(4) x 7H(2)O, and phenol were found to have significant effect on laccase production. A central composite design was applied to determine the optimum concentrations of the significant variables obtained from Plackett-Burman design. The optimized medium composition for production of laccase was (g/l): starch, 30.0; yeast extract, 4.53; MnSO(4), 0.002; MgSO(4) x 7H(2)O, 0.755; and phenol, 0.026, and the optimum laccase production was 6,590.26 (U/l), which was 7.6 times greater than the control.

PMID: 18459071 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE][Author]

Biomimetic synthesis and characterisation of protein capped silver nanoparticles.

Sanghi R, Verma P.

Facility for Ecological and Analytical Testing, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India.


A controlled and up-scalable route for the biosynthesis of silver nanopartilces (NPs) mediated by fungal proteins of Coriolus versicolor has been undertaken for the first time. The fungus when challenged with silver nitrate solution accumulated silver NPs on its surface in 72h which could be reduced to 1h by tailoring the reaction conditions. Under alkaline conditions, the reaction was much faster and could easily proceed at room temperature even without stirring. The resulting Ag NPs displayed controllable structural and optical properties depending on the experimental parameters such as pH and reaction temperatures. The average size, morphology, and structure of particles were determined by AFM, TEM, XRD and UV/Visible absorption spectrophotometry. Fourier transform infrared study disclosed that the amino groups were bound to the particles, which was accountable for the stability of NPs. It further confirmed the presence of protein as the stabilizing and capping agent surrounding the silver NPs. Experiments were conducted both with, media in which fungus was initially harvested and that of pristine fungal mycelium alone. Under normal conditions, in the case of media extracellular synthesis took place whereby other than the fungal proteins, glucose was also responsible for the reduction. In the case of fungal mycelium, the intracellular formation of Ag NPs, could be tailored to give both intracellular and extracellular Ag NPs under alkaline conditions whereby the surface S-H groups of the fungus played a major role.

Evaluation of widely consumed botanicals as immunological adjuvants.

Ragupathi G, Yeung KS, Leung PC, Lee M, Lau CB, Vickers A, Hood C, Deng G, Cheung NK, Cassileth B, Livingston P.

Laboratory of Tumor Vaccinology, Melanoma and Sarcoma Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, United States.


BACKGROUND: Many widely used botanical medicines are claimed to be immune enhancers. Clear evidence of augmentation of immune responses in vivo is lacking in most cases. To select botanicals for further study based on immune enhancing activity, we study them here mixed with antigen and injected subcutaneously (s.c.). Globo H and GD3 are cell surface carbohydrates expressed on glycolipids or glycoproteins on the cell surface of many cancers. When conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), mixed with an immunological adjuvant and administered s.c. the magnitude of the antibody responses against globo H, GD3 and KLH depend largely on the potency of the adjuvant. We describe here the results obtained using this s.c. immunization model with seven botanicals purported to have immune stimulant effects.

METHODS: Groups of 5-10 mice were immunized with globo H-KLH or GD3-KLH mixed with botanical, saline or positive control immunological adjuvant, s.c. three times at 1 week intervals. Antibody responses were measured 1 and 2 weeks after the 3rd immunization. The following seven botanicals and fractions were tested: (1) H-48 (Honso USA Co.), (2) Coriolus versicolor raw water extract, purified polysaccharide-K (PSK) or purified polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) (Institute of Chinese Medicine (ICM)), (3) Maitake extract (Yukiguni Maitake Co. Ltd. and Tradeworks Group), (4) Echinacea lipophilic, neutral and acidic extracts (Gaia Herbs), (5) Astragalus water, 50% or 95% ethanol extracts (ICM), (6) Turmeric supercritical (SC) or hydro-ethanolic (HE) extracts (New Chapter) or 60% ethanol extract (ICM) and (7) yeast beta-glucan (Biotec Pharmacon). Purified saponin extract QS-21 (Antigenics) and semisynthetic saponin GPI-0100 (Advanced BioTherapies) were used as positive control adjuvants. Sera were analyzed by ELISA against synthetic globo H ceramide or GD3 and KLH.

RESULTS: Consistent significant adjuvant activity was observed after s.c. vaccination with the Coriolus extracts (especially PSK), a 95% ethanol extract of Astragalus and yeast beta-glucan, and (to a lesser extent) Maitake. Antibodies against KLH in all cases and against globo H in most cases were induced by these botanicals. Little or no adjuvant activity was demonstrated with H-48 or Echinacea extracts or the Astragalus water extract. Experiments with GD3-KLH as immunogen confirmed the adjuvant activity of the Coriolus, yeast beta-glucan and Astragalus extracts. While extraction with ethanol concentrated the active ingredients in Astragalus, it had no impact on Coriolus where the 90% ethanol precipitate and solute were equally active.

CONCLUSIONS: Some, but not all, botanicals purported to be immune stimulants had adjuvant activity in our model. PSK and Astragalus were surprisingly active and are being further fractionated to identify the most active adjuvant components.

PMID: 18640165 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]PMCID: PMC2565601

Synthesis and evaluation of N-alkyl-beta-D-glucosylamines on the growth of two wood fungi, Coriolus versicolor and Poria placenta.

Muhizi T, Coma V, Grelier S.

UMR US2B, Unité des Sciences du Bois et des Biopolymères, Université Bordeaux 1, INRA, CNRS, 351, cours de la Libération F-33405 Talence, France.


Various glucosylamines were synthesized from glucose and different alkyl amine compounds. These amino compounds are beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (GPA), N-ethyl-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (EtGPA), N-butyl-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (BuGPA), N-hexyl-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (HeGPA), N-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (OcGPA), N-dodecyl-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (DoGPA), N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (HEtGPA) and N,N-di(2-hydroxyethyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosylamine (DHEtGPA). They were tested for their antifungal activity against the growth of Coriolus versicolor and Poria placenta. An improvement of the antifungal activity with the increase of alkyl chain length was observed. DoGPA exhibited the best antifungal activity against both strains. It completely inhibited the fungal growth at 0.01×10(-3)molmL(-1) and 0.0075×10(-3)molmL(-1) for C. versicolor and P. placenta, respectively. For other glucosylamines higher concentrations were needed for complete inhibition of fungi.

PMID: 18694571 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Production and structural analysis of the polysaccharide secreted by Trametes (Coriolus) versicolor ATCC 200801.

Rau U, Kuenz A, Wray V, Nimtz M, Wrenger J, Cicek H.

Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Technical University Braunschweig, Spielmannstr. 7, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany.


Trametes versicolor ATCC 200801 secretes 4.1 g L(-1) of exopolysaccharide (EPS) when synthetic minimal medium and low-shear bioreactor cultivation technique are used. Structural and compositional analyses by thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy yielded predominantly glucose and small amounts of galactose, mannose, arabinose, and xylose. The main EPS is composed of beta-1,3/beta-1,6-linked D-glucose molecules which is identical with Schizophyllan but does not possess a triple helical arrangement as secondary structure. Two molar mass fractions were detected by size exclusion chromatography yielding weight-average molecular weights of 4,100 and 2.6 kDa. Protein content varies between 2-3.6% (w/w). The exopolysaccharide is different in the nature of the glycosidic linkage, composition of monosaccharides, protein content, and weight-average molecular weight compared to the well-known polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharopeptide Krestin (PSK).

PMID: 18800181 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]