Fungal polysaccharopeptide inhibits tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth in mice.

Ho JC, Konerding MA, Gaumann A, Groth M, Liu WK.

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


Angiogenesis is crucial to tumor growth and metastasis, and interruption of this process is a prime avenue for therapeutic intervention of tumor proliferation. The present study has made use of the S180 tumor-bearing mouse model to investigate the polysaccharopeptide, PSP, isolated from the edible mushroom Coriolus versicolor, a herbal medicine known for its anti-angiogenesis properties. Quantitative analysis of microcorrosion casting of the tumor tissue showed more angiogenic features such as dense sinusoids and hot spots, in control (untreated) than in PSP-treated animals. Immunostaining of tumor tissues with antibody against the endothelial cell marker (Factor VIII) demonstrated a positive correlation in that both the vascular density and tumor weight were lower in mice treated with PSP. Morphometric analysis of corrosion casts revealed that, even though the total amount of new vessel production was reduced, the basic tumor type-specific vascular architecture was retained. However, the expression of vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) in these tumors was suppressed. In conclusion, anti-angiogenesis should be one of the pathways through which PSP mediated its anti-tumor activity.

PMID: 15234192 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Treatment of cancer with mushroom products.

Monro JA.

Breakspear Hospital, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, United Kingdom.


Cancer has been attributed to 3 causes: pollution, infection, and poor nutrition. Conventional treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The author proposes that immunotherapy also be considered. Among other environmental influences, dietary deficiencies and carcinogenic viral infections must be investigated and treated wherever possible. It has been suggested that mushrooms, in particular, have a structure that is immunomodulatory because it resembles the proteoglycan structure in the human extracellular matrix, and both are metabolically active. Inasmuch as mitochondria have a bacterial origin, proteoglycans may have a mushroom origin. The author describes a study which shows that natural killer cells can double in number with 8 wk of treatment with Coriolus versicolor. Also described is an epidemiological survey of cancer deaths among Flammulina velutipes farmers in Japan, which found that the mushroom farmers had lower rates of cancer deaths than controls who were not involved in mushroom farming.

PMID: 15259434 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Differential effect of Coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) extract on cytokine production by murine lymphocytes in vitro.

Ho CY, Lau CB, Kim CF, Leung KN, Fung KP, Tse TF, Chan HH, Chow MS.

School of Pharmacy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


Being one of the commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs, Coriolus versicolor (CV), also named as Yunzhi, was known to possess both anti-tumor and immunopotentiating activities. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro immunomodulatory effect of a standardized ethanol-water extract prepared from CV on the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes using the MTT assay, and the production of six T helper (Th)-related cytokines using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The results showed that the CV extract significantly augmented the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner, maximally by 2.4-fold. Moreover, the production of two Th1-related cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-12, in culture supernatants from the CV extract-activated lymphocytes was prominently upregulated at 48 and 72 h. Positive correlations were found between the levels of these two cytokines and the MTT-based proliferative response. In contrast, the production of two other Th1-related cytokines, including interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-18, was significantly augmented only at 24 h, but not at 48 and 72 h. On the other hand, the levels of two Th2-related cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-6 were undetectable in the culture supernatants of lymphocytes treated with the CV extract. The CV extract was suggested to be a lymphocyte mitogen by differentially enhancing the production of Th1-related cytokines.

PMID: 15351324 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Decolorization and degradation of xanthene dyes by a white rot fungus, Coriolus versicolor.

Itoh K, Yatome C.

Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Japan.


The decolorization of six xanthene dyes (conc. 100 microM) by a white rot fungus, Coriolus versicolor (C. versicolor), was investigated in liquid culture. The decolorization of Fluorescein, 4-Aminofluorescein, and 5-Aminofluorescein by the fungus was 85.0, 95.0, and 91.9% after 14 days incubation, respectively. However, no decolorization of Rhodamine B, Rhodamine 123 hydrate, and Rhodamine 6G was observed. The first three dyes also were decolorized with cell-free extracts from C. versicolor. The decolorization activity was 10.2, 6.7, and 7.2 microM min(-1)mg(-1), respectively. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) analyses indicated that degradation of Fluorescein was occurring with the detection of three degradation products.

PMID: 15478930 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Overproduction of recombinant laccase using a homologous expression system in Coriolus versicolor.

Kajita S, Sugawara S, Miyazaki Y, Nakamura M, Katayama Y, Shishido K, Iimura Y.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo, 184-8588, Japan.


One of the major extracellular enzymes of the white-rot fungus Coriolus versicolor is laccase, which is involved in the degradation of lignin. We constructed a homologous system for the expression of a gene for laccase III (cvl3) in C. versicolor, using a chimeric laccase gene driven by the promoter of a gene for glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpd) from this fungus. We transformed C. versicolor successfully by introducing both a gene for hygromycin B phosphotransferase (hph) and the chimeric laccase gene. In three independent experiments, we recovered 47 hygromycin-resistant transformants at a transformation frequency of 13 transformants microg(-1) of plasmid DNA. We confirmed the introduction of the chimeric laccase gene into the mycelia of transformants by a polymerase chain reaction in nine randomly selected transformants. Overproduction of extracellular laccase by the transformants was revealed by a colorimetric assay for laccase activity. We examined the transformant (T2) that had the highest laccase activity and found that its activity was significantly higher than that of the wild type, particularly in the presence of copper (II). Our transformation system should contribute to the efficient production of the extracellular proteins of C. versicolor for the accelerated degradation of lignin and aromatic pollutants.

PMID: 15480638 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The effect of nitrogen supplementation on the efficiency of colour and COD removal by Malaysian white-rot fungi in textile dyeing effluent.

Lee KK, Kassim AM, Lee HK.

Faculty of Applied Sciences, MARA University of Technology, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.


White-rot fungi, namely Coriolus versicolor and Schizophyllum commune, were studied for the biodecolorization of textile dyeing effluent in shaker-flask experiments. The results showed that C. versicolor was able to achieve 68% color removal after 5 days of treatment while that of S. commune was 88% in 9 days. Both fungi achieved the above results in non-sterile condition with diammonium hydrogen phosphate as the nutrient supplement. On the other hand, the best COD removal of 80% was obtained with C. versicolor in 9 days in sterile effluent with yeast extract as nutrient supplement, while S. commune was able to remove 85% COD within 8 days in non-sterile textile effluent supplemented with diammonium hydrogen phosphate.

PMID: 15497832 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Transgenic tobacco expressing fungal laccase promotes the detoxification of environmental pollutants.

Sonoki T, Kajita S, Ikeda S, Uesugi M, Tatsumi K, Katayama Y, Iimura Y.

Institute for Environmental Management Technology, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan.


The phytoremediation of soils contaminated with organic pollutants offers a low-cost method for removal of such pollutants. We have attempted to enhance the environmental decontamination functions of plants by introducing appropriate enzymatic activities from microorganisms. In the present study, we introduced an extracellular fungal enzyme, the laccase of Coriolus versicolor, into tobacco plants. One transgenic plant, designated FL4, produced laccase that was secreted into the rhizosphere. FL4 was able to remove 20 micromol bisphenol A or pentachlorophenol per gram dry weight. The efficiency of this removal was apparently greater than that of control lines. Our results should stimulate efforts to develop plant-based technologies for the removal of environmental pollutants from contaminated environments.

PMID: 15549288 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]