Creating Cancer-Fighting Compounds from Reishi Mushroom Extracts

Jenn Hoskins
5th June, 2024

Creating Cancer-Fighting Compounds from Reishi Mushroom Extracts

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study from Hebei University synthesized four Ganoderma triterpenoids (GTs) from lanosterol
  • Endertiin B, one of the GTs, showed strong inhibitory effects on breast cancer cells
  • Endertiin B halted cancer cell growth by affecting proteins that control the cell cycle and apoptosis
Ganoderma lucidum, a fungus highly regarded in traditional Chinese medicine, has garnered significant attention for its medicinal properties, primarily attributed to its active components known as Ganoderma triterpenoids (GTs). These compounds have shown promising therapeutic potential, but their limited isolation rate has posed a challenge in harnessing their full benefits. Recent research from Hebei University aimed to address this issue by achieving large-scale preparation of GTs and evaluating their antitumor activity[1]. The study focused on synthesizing four GTs from lanosterol, a precursor molecule, and assessing their effectiveness against breast cancer cells in vivo. Among the GTs tested, endertiin B stood out due to its potent inhibitory activity against breast cancer cells, with effective concentration values of 9.85 ± 0.91 μM and 12.12 ± 0.95 μM. This compound was found to upregulate the expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27 while downregulating cyclinD1. This modulation resulted in the arrest of the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, effectively halting cell proliferation. Additionally, endertiin B induced apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, by decreasing the levels of the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2 and increasing the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins BAX and BAK. Furthermore, it was observed that endertiin B reduced the expression of proteins associated with the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, a crucial pathway involved in cell growth and survival. This study builds on previous research highlighting the medicinal properties of Ganoderma species. For centuries, Ganoderma has been utilized in Asian countries to prevent and treat various diseases, with numerous publications documenting its beneficial medicinal properties[2]. The current study's findings align with earlier research that identified more than 600 chemical compounds from Ganoderma, including alkaloids, meroterpenoids, nucleobases, nucleosides, polysaccharides, proteins, steroids, and triterpenes, with triterpenes being the primary components[2]. The isolation and synthesis of GTs, such as endertiin B, represent a significant advancement in developing new drugs from these compounds. Moreover, the relevance of Ganoderma in contemporary medical research is underscored by its potential role in addressing urgent health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have identified Ganoderma extracts as effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. In a cell-based infection assay screening over 3,000 agents, extracts of Ganoderma lucidum were found to be active against the virus and showed promise as plant-derived anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents[3]. This highlights the broad-spectrum potential of Ganoderma species in both antiviral and anticancer therapies. The isolation of new lanostane triterpenes from Ganoderma lucidum has also been previously documented, with compounds demonstrating significant anti-inflammatory activity[4]. This further supports the therapeutic versatility of Ganoderma triterpenoids, extending beyond anticancer and antiviral applications to include anti-inflammatory effects. In summary, the recent study from Hebei University successfully synthesized four GTs from lanosterol and identified endertiin B as a potent inhibitor of breast cancer cell proliferation. By modulating key proteins involved in the cell cycle and apoptosis, endertiin B effectively halted cancer cell growth and induced cell death through the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway. These findings not only advance our understanding of Ganoderma triterpenoids' therapeutic potential but also reinforce the historical and ongoing significance of Ganoderma in medical research[2][3][4].



Main Study

1) Semisynthesis and antitumor activity of endertiin B and related triterpenoids from Ganoderma lucidum.

Published 4th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) A Review of Ganoderma Triterpenoids and Their Bioactivities.

3) Identification of existing pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

4) Inhibitory effect on NO production of triterpenes from the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum.

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