[#2015-01] Meshima Konno, Sensuke et al. Potent Anticancer Effects of Bioactive Mushroom Extracts (Phellinus linteus) on a Variety of Human Cancer Cells

Background: Although several therapeutic options are currently available for patients with various cancers, the outcomes are often disappointing and a more effective modality needs to be promptly established. We have been exploring an alternative approach using natural agents and two bioactive mushroom extracts isolated from
Phellinus linteus (PL), namely PL-ES and PL-I-ES, were of our interest.  As anticancer effects of similar extracts have been reported in several cancers, we investigated whether PL-ES and PL-I-ES might have such anticancer activities on a variety of human cancer cells in vitro.
Methods: Ten different types of human cancer cell lines, including three metastatic prostate, bladder, kidney, lung, breast, stomach, liver, and brain cancer cells, were employed and tested with PL-ES or PL-I-ES. Cell growth/viability, exertion of oxidative stress, and induction of apoptosis were assessed by MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) assay, lipid peroxidation (LPO) assay, and specific enzymatic assay, respectively.  Results: PL-ES (100 μg/mL) exhibited potent anticancer activity, resulting
in a significant (40-80%) growth reduction in all 10 cancer cells at 72 hours. PL-I-ES (100 μg/mL) was effective on only four cancer cells but its higher concentration at 250 μg/mL led to a significant (25-90%) growth reduction in seven cancer cells. LPO assays indicated that such a significant growth reduction by PL-ES (100 μg/
mL) or PL-I-ES (100 or 250 μg/mL) could result from cell death due to a cytotoxic effect of oxidative stress (through free radicals). Moreover, enzymatic assays for caspase-3 (Csp-3) and caspase-9 (Csp-9),
the pro-apoptotic regulators, showed that both enzymes were significantly activated by PL-ES or PL-I-ES, indicating that cell death due to oxidative stress was more likely associated with apoptosis.

Conclusions: The present study shows that both PL-ES and PL-I-ES indeed have anticancer effects on a variety of cancer cells, although PL-ES appears to be more potent than PL-I-ES. Such an anticancer effect is presumably attributed to oxidative stress, which will ultimately lead to apoptosis. Therefore, these two bioactive mushroom
extracts may have clinical implications in a more effective therapeutic option for a variety of human malignancies.