A major problem for manufacturers of cracked spores Ganoderma lucidum, a traditional functional food/Chinese medicine (TCM), is to ensure that raw materials are consistent as received from the producer. To address this, a feed-forward artificial neural network (ANN) method assisted by linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and principal component analysis (PCA) was developed for the spectroscopic discrimination of cracked spores of Ganoderma lucidum from uncracked spores. 120 samples comprising cracked spores, uncracked spores and concentrate of Ganoderma lucidum were analyzed. Differences in the absorption spectra located at ν1 (1143 - 1037 cm-1), ν2 (1660 - 1560 cm-1), ν3 (1745 - 1716 cm-1) and ν4 (2845 - 2798 cm-1) were identified by applying fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy and used as variables for discriminant analysis. The utilization of spectra frequencies offered maximum chemical information provided by the absorption spectra. Uncracked spores gave rise to characteristic spectrum that permitted discrimination from its cracked physical state. Parallel application of variables derived from unsupervised LDA/PCA provided useful (feed-forward) information to achieve 100% classification integrity objective in ANN. 100% model validation was obtained by utilizing 30 independent samples. ν1 was used to construct the matrix-matched calibration curve (n = 10) based on 4 levels of concentration (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% uncracked spores in cracked spores). A coefficient of correlation (r) of 0.97 was obtained. Relative standard deviation (RSD) of 11% was achieved using 100% uncracked spores (n = 30). These results demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing a combination of spectroscopy and prospective statistical tools to perform non destructive food quality assessment in a high throughput environment.
Adulteration; Artificial neural network; Cracked spores; Feed-forward; Ganoderma; Spectroscopy
The major cell wall constituent of Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum) is β-1,3-glucan. This study examined the polysaccharide from the residues of alkaline-extracted fruiting bodies using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC), and it employed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) to confirm the structures. We have successfully isolated low-molecular-weight β-1,3-glucan (LMG), in high yields, from the waste residue of extracted fruiting bodies of G. lucidum. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay evaluated the capability of LMG to suppress H2O2-induced cell death in RAW264.7 cells, identifying that LMG protected cells from H2O2-induced damage. LMG treatment decreased H2O2-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. LMG also influenced sphingomyelinase (SMase) activity, stimulated by cell death to induce ceramide formation, and then increase cell ROS production. Estimation of the activities of neutral and acid SMases in vitro showed that LMG suppressed the activities of both neutral and acid SMases in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that LMG, a water-soluble β-1,3-glucan recycled from extracted residue of G. lucidum, possesses antioxidant capability against H2O2-induced cell death by attenuating intracellular ROS and inhibiting SMase activity.
To examine the composition of lanostanoids in Ganoderma lucidum, we have developed a liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) method by using the ganoderic acids isolated in our laboratory as reference standards. The identity of 14 peaks in the high performance liquid chromatogram (HPLC) of G. lucidum has been confirmed. By using the HPLC retention times of these ganoderic acids and their mass fragmentation patterns established in this paper, one can use LC–MS to analyze G. lucidum without requiring the reference standards of these 14 ganoderic acids. Subsequently, only the HPLC–UV method would be needed to analyze routine samples of G. lucidum.
mushroom; Ganoderma lucidum; lanostanoids; triterpenes; ganoderic acids; LC–MS
The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum) has been used for the treatment of various diseases, and is known for the immune-enhancing activity of its polysaccharide. However, little is known about another of its major constituents, triterpene. This study investigated the anticancer mechanism of a triterpene-enriched extract from G. lucidum. The triterpene-enriched extract, GLAI, was prepared from fruiting bodies of G. lucidum by sequential hot water extraction, removal of ethanol-insoluble polysaccharides and gel-filtration chromatography. The mechanisms of GLAI-induced apoptosis on SW620 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells were investigated. Tumor cell lines in vitro were treated with different concentrations of GLAI. Cell proliferation was measured by the Alamar blue assay, morphology of cell apoptosis was observed, cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry (FCM) and caspase-3 activity was detected by Caspase-3 cellular activity assay. The results showed that GLAI inhibited the growth of different tumor cells and caused significant apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Marked morphological changes of cell apoptosis were observed after the cells had been exposed to GLAI for 24 h. The Caspase-3 assay results showed that the activity of the caspase-3 enzyme increased in both a time- and dose-dependent manner, whereas GLAI resulted in the down-regulation of Bcl-2 gene expression at the mRNA level and XIAP protein production at the protein level. Conversely, GLAI up-regulates the expression of the apoptosis enhancer Bax gene and p53 protein. These findings suggest that the triterpenes contained in G. lucidum are potential anticancer agents.
apoptosis; Ganoderma lucidum; triterpene
Ganoderma lucidum has been widely used as a herbal medicine for promoting health and longevity in China and other Asian countries. Polysaccharide extracts from Ganoderma lucidum have been reported to exhibit immuno-modulating and anti-tumor activities. In previous studies, F3, the active component of the polysaccharide extract, was found to activate various cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α. This gave rise to our investigation on how F3 stimulates immuno-modulating or anti-tumor effects in human leukemia THP-1 cells.
Here, we integrated time-course DNA microarray analysis, quantitative PCR assays, and bioinformatics methods to study the F3-induced effects in THP-1 cells. Significantly disturbed pathways induced by F3 were identified with statistical analysis on microarray data. The apoptosis induction through the DR3 and DR4/5 death receptors was found to be one of the most significant pathways and play a key role in THP-1 cells after F3 treatment. Based on time-course gene expression measurements of the identified pathway, we reconstructed a plausible regulatory network of the involved genes using reverse-engineering computational approach.
Our results showed that F3 may induce death receptor ligands to initiate signaling via receptor oligomerization, recruitment of specialized adaptor proteins and activation of caspase cascades.
Natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity is an effective defense against metastatic tumor cells or viruses in the blood. However, NK cytotoxicity against tumor cells may be inhibited by a fibrinogen coat adhered to the surface of tumor cells. Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum) polysaccharides have been reported for their inhibitory ability on the adhesion of type I collagen, hyaluronan, fibronectin and laminin to integrins that were highly expressed on melanoma cells, and were therefore capable of enhancing NK cytotoxicity to tumor cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of G. lucidum polysaccharides on fibrinogen's adhesion to melanoma cells and NK cytotoxicity to tumor cells. Melanoma cells B16 and A375 were cultured and analyzed using flow cytometry. Human NK cells were isolated and analyzed using an NK cytotoxic assay. The results showed that polysaccharides extracted from G. lucidum inhibit the adhesion of fibrinogen to melanoma cells, and reverse the blocking effect of the fibrin coat on NK cytotoxicity against melanoma cells.
Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides; NK cytotoxicity; fibrinogen; integrin
Considering the fact that a key factor in tumor development is the evasion of immune detection, the search for natural products, which have reduced toxicity towards normal tissues as well as immunostimulatory capabilities has received growing interest. One attractive source of antitumor products is the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, which has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases, including cancer, and has been shown to improve immune function. Interestingly, its methanol soluble triterpenoid extracts, namely Ganoderic Acids (GAs), have been the subject of several recent investigations on their chemotherapeutic effects. While current research has revealed GAs’ role in inducing apoptosis of cancer cells with a much lower toxicity to healthy cells, little information is available on their in vitro and/or in vivo immune activities. In this review, we aim to discuss the current knowledge on GAs, and their potential as apoptosis inducing as well as immune activating molecules that could be a potential alternative approach for designing novel chemoimmunotherapeutics against malignant diseases. We also discuss other new approaches for exploiting the advantages of using a nanoparticle polymer-GA conjugate as a tool for a sustained and targeted delivery of drug in vivo.
Ganoderma lucidum; Ganoderic acids; Cancer; Apoptosis; Cytokines; Immune regulation; Nanoparticles
Differentiation therapy by induction of tumor cells is an important method in the treatment of hematological cancers such as leukemia. Tumor cell differentiation ends cancer cells' immortality, thus stopping cell growth and proliferation. In our previous study, we found that fucose-containing polysaccharide fraction F3 extracted from Ganoderma lucidum can bring about cytokine secretion and cell death in human leukemia THP-1 cells. This prompted us to further investigate on how F3 induces the differentiation in human leukemia cells. We integrated time-course microarray analysis and network modeling to study the F3-induced effects on THP-1 cells. In addition, we determined the differentiation effect using Liu's staining, nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction assay, flow cytometer, western blotting and Q-PCR. We also examined the modulation and regulation by F3 during the differentiation process. Dynamic gene expression profiles showed that cell differentiation was induced in F3-treated THP-1 cells. Furthermore, F3-treated THP-1 cells exhibited enhanced macrophage differentiation, as demonstrated by changes in cell adherence, cell cycle arrest, NBT reduction and expression of differentiation markers including CD11b, CD14, CD68, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and myeloperoxidase. In addition, caspase cleavage and p53 activation were found to be significantly enhanced in F3-treated THP-1 cells. We unraveled the role of caspases and p53 in F3-induced THP-1 cells differentiation into macrophages. Our results provide a molecular explanation for the differentiation effect of F3 on human leukemia THP-1 cells and offer a prospect for a potential leukemia differentiation therapy.
Ischemic hypoxic brain injury often causes irreversible brain damage. The lack of effective and widely applicable pharmacological treatments for ischemic stroke patients may explain a growing interest in traditional medicines. From the point of view of "self-medication" or "preventive medicine," Cordyceps sinensis was used in the prevention of cerebral ischemia in this paper.
The right middle cerebral artery occlusion model was used in the study. The effects of Cordyceps sinensis (Caterpillar fungus) extract on mortality rate, neurobehavior, grip strength, lactate dehydrogenase, glutathione content, Lipid Peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase activity, glutathione reductase activity, catalase activity, Na+K+ATPase activity and glutathione S transferase activity in a rat model were studied respectively.
Cordyceps sinensis extract significantly improved the outcome in rats after cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in terms of neurobehavioral function. At the same time, supplementation of Cordyceps sinensis extract significantly boosted the defense mechanism against cerebral ischemia by increasing antioxidants activity related to lesion pathogenesis. Restoration of the antioxidant homeostasis in the brain after reperfusion may have helped the brain recover from ischemic injury.
These experimental results suggest that complement Cordyceps sinensis extract is protective after cerebral ischemia in specific way. The administration of Cordyceps sinensis extract significantly reduced focal cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury. The defense mechanism against cerebral ischemia was by increasing antioxidants activity related to lesion pathogenesis.
Ganoderma sp. is an airborne fungal spore type known to trigger respiratory allergy symptoms in sensitive patients. Aiming to reduce the risk for allergic individuals, we analysed fungal spore circulation in Szczecin, Poland, and its dependence on meteorological conditions. Statistical models for the airborne spore concentrations of Ganoderma sp.—one of the most abundant fungal taxa in the area—were developed. Aerobiological sampling was conducted over 2004–2008 using a volumetric Lanzoni trap. Simultaneously, the following meteorological parameters were recorded: daily level of precipitation, maximum and average wind speed, relative humidity and maximum, minimum, average and dew point temperatures. These data were used as the explaining variables. Due to the non-linearity and non-normality of the data set, the applied modelling techniques were artificial neural networks (ANN) and mutlivariate regression trees (MRT). The obtained classification and MRT models predicted threshold conditions above which Ganoderma sp. appeared in the air. It turned out that dew point temperature was the main factor influencing the presence or absence of Ganoderma sp. spores. Further analysis of spore seasons revealed that the airborne fungal spore concentration depended only slightly on meteorological factors.
Ganoderma sp.; Artificial neural network; Multivariate regression tree; Meteorological parameter
Ganoderma lucidum is a basidiomycete white rot fungus and is of medicinal importance in China, Japan and other countries in the Asiatic region. To date, much research has been performed in identifying the medicinal ingredients in Ganoderma lucidum. Despite its important therapeutic effects in disease, little is known about Ganoderma lucidum at the genomic level. In order to gain a molecular understanding of this fungus, we utilized Illumina high-throughput technology to sequence and analyze the transcriptome of Ganoderma lucidum.
We obtained 6,439,690 and 6,416,670 high-quality reads from the mycelium and fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum, and these were assembled to form 18,892 and 27,408 unigenes, respectively. A similarity search was performed against the NCBI non-redundant nucleotide database and a customized database composed of five fungal genomes. 11,098 and 8, 775 unigenes were matched to the NCBI non-redundant nucleotide database and our customized database, respectively. All unigenes were subjected to annotation by Gene Ontology, Eukaryotic Orthologous Group terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Differentially expressed genes from the Ganoderma lucidum mycelium and fruiting body stage were analyzed, resulting in the identification of 13 unigenes which are involved in the terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathway. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to confirm the expression levels of these unigenes. Ganoderma lucidum was also studied for wood degrading activity and a total of 22 putative FOLymes (fungal oxidative lignin enzymes) and 120 CAZymes (carbohydrate-active enzymes) were predicted from our Ganoderma lucidum transcriptome.
Our study provides comprehensive gene expression information on Ganoderma lucidum at the transcriptional level, which will form the foundation for functional genomics studies in this fungus. The use of Illumina sequencing technology has made de novo transcriptome assembly and gene expression analysis possible in species that lack full genome information.
Two species of Ganoderma, G. sinense and G. lucidum, are used as Lingzhi in China. Howerver, the content of triterpenoids and polysaccharides, main actives compounds, are significant different, though the extracts of both G. lucidum and G. sinense have antitumoral proliferation effect. It is suspected that other compounds contribute to their antitumoral activity. Sterols and fatty acids have obvious bioactivity. Therefore, determination and comparison of sterols and fatty acids is helpful to elucidate the active components of Lingzhi.
Ergosterol, a specific component of fungal cell membrane, was rich in G. lucidum and G. sinense. But its content in G. lucidum (median content 705.0 μg·g-1, range 189.1-1453.3 μg·g-1, n = 19) was much higher than that in G. sinense (median content 80.1 μg·g-1, range 16.0-409.8 μg·g-1, n = 13). Hierarchical clustering analysis based on the content of ergosterol showed that 32 tested samples of Ganoderma were grouped into two main clusters, G. lucidum and G. sinense. Hierarchical clustering analysis based on the contents of ten fatty acids showed that two species of Ganoderma had no significant difference though two groups were also obtained. The similarity of two species of Ganoderma in fatty acids may be related to their antitumoral proliferation effect.
The content of ergosterol is much higher in G. lucidum than in G. sinense. Palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid are main fatty acids in Ganoderma and their content had no significant difference between G. lucidum and G. sinense, which may contribute to their antitumoral proliferation effect.
The present study investigated whether a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) mycelia (MAK) is able to protect the small intestine against damage induced by anti-cancer drugs. Six-week-old male B6C3F1/Crlj mice were fed a basal diet (MF) alone or with various doses of MAK or Agarics blazei Murrill (AGA) beginning one week before treatment with the anti-cancer drugs. Mice were sacrificed 3.5 days after injection of the anti-cancer drug, the small intestine was removed and tissue specimens were examined for the regeneration of small intestinal crypts. In experiment 1, the number of regenerative crypts after the administration of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) intravenously (250 mg/kg) or intraperitoneally (250 or 500 mg/kg) was compared after treatment with MAK or AGA. MAK protected against 5FU-induced small intestinal injury whereas AGA did not. In experiment 2, we investigated the protective effect of MAK against small intestinal injury induced by the anti-cancer drugs: UFT (tegafur with uracil; 1,000 mg/kg, orally), cisplatin (CDDP; 12.5 and 25 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), cyclophosphamide (CPA; 250 mg/kg, orally) and gefitinib (Iressa; 2,000 and 4,000 mg/kg, orally). UFT and CDDP decreased the number of regenerative crypts, but treatment with MAK attenuated the extent of UFT- or CDDP-induced small intestinal injury. CPA or Iressa plus MAK up-regulated crypt regeneration. The present results indicate that MAK ameliorates the small intestinal injury caused by several anti-cancer drugs, suggesting that MAK is a potential preventive agent against this common adverse effect of chemotherapy.
small intestinal injury; anti-cancer drugs; Ganoderma lucidum; B6C3F1 mice
The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) was tested as a potential therapeutic for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) using in vivo and in vitro IBC models. IBC is a lethal and aggressive form of breast cancer that manifests itself without a typical tumor mass. Studies show that IBC tissue biopsies overexpress E-cadherin and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI), two proteins that are partially responsible for the unique pathological properties of this disease. IBC is treated with a multimodal approach that includes non-targeted systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Because of its non-toxic and selective anti-cancer activity, medicinal mushroom extracts have received attention for their use in cancer therapy. Our previous studies demonstrate these selective anti-cancer effects of Reishi, where IBC cell viability and invasion, as well as the expression of key IBC molecules, including eIF4G is compromised. Thus, herein we define the mechanistic effects of Reishi focusing on the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a regulator of cell survival and growth. The present study demonstrates that Reishi treated IBC SUM-149 cells have reduced expression of mTOR downstream effectors at early treatment times, as we observe reduced eIF4G levels coupled with increased levels of eIF4E bound to 4E-BP, with consequential protein synthesis reduction. Severe combined immunodeficient mice injected with IBC cells treated with Reishi for 13 weeks show reduced tumor growth and weight by ∼50%, and Reishi treated tumors showed reduced expression of E-cadherin, mTOR, eIF4G, and p70S6K, and activity of extracellular regulated kinase (ERK1/2). Our results provide evidence that Reishi suppresses protein synthesis and tumor growth by affecting survival and proliferative signaling pathways that act on translation, suggesting that Reishi is a potential natural therapeutic for breast and other cancers.
Ganoderma lucidum is one of most widely used herbal medicine and functional food in Asia, and ganoderic acids (GAs) are its active ingredients. Regulation of GA biosynthesis and enhancing GA production are critical to using G. lucidum as a medicine. However, regulation of GA biosynthesis by various signaling remains poorly understood. This study investigated the role of apoptosis signaling on GA biosynthesis and presented a novel approach, namely apoptosis induction, to increasing GA production. Aspirin was able to induce cell apoptosis in G. lucidum, which was identified by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUPT nick end labeling assay positive staining and a condensed nuclear morphology. The maximum induction of lanosta-7,9(11), 24-trien-3α-01-26-oic acid (ganoderic acid 24, GA24) production and total GA production by aspirin were 2.7-fold and 2.8-fold, respectively, after 1 day. Significantly lower levels of GA 24 and total GAs were obtained after regular fungal culture for 1.5 months. ROS accumulation and phosphorylation of Hog-1 kinase, a putative homolog of MAPK p38 in mammals, occurred after aspirin treatment indicating that both factors may be involved in GA biosynthetic regulation. However, aspirin also reduced expression of the squalene synthase and lanosterol synthase coding genes, suggesting that these genes are not critical for GA induction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing that GA biosynthesis is linked to fungal apoptosis and provides a new approach to enhancing secondary metabolite production in fungi.
In this study, attempt is made to establish changes in serum and liver lipoprotein cholesterols accompanying Plasmodium berghei malarial infection in mice treated with aqueous extract of Ganoderma lucidum at 100, 250, and 500 mg/kg body weight in comparison with 15 mg/kg chloroquine (CQ). Significant increases in all the lipoprotein fractions were observed in infected untreated mice compared with normal control mice. Treatment with 100 and 250 mg/kg G. lucidum extract produced significant reduction in serum total cholesterol (TC) and low-density cholesterol (LDL-C) contents compared with 500 mg/kg G. lucidum and CQ. Treatment with CQ, however, produced significant reduction in hepatic TC and LDL-C compared with the extract. A dose-dependent significant increase in serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was observed in the G. lucidum treated mice compared with normal control but significantly lower compared with CQ-treated mice. Liver HDL-C level was significantly higher in CQ-treated mice compared with normal control and significantly lower compared with G. lucidum-treated and infected untreated mice. A dose-dependent effect of the extract was observed in both serum and liver very-low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). The implication of these results is discussed with respect to the parasite survival and proliferation in the serum and liver.
By using 1,4-dioxane as the sole source of carbon, a 1,4-dioxane-degrading microorganism was isolated from soil. The fungus, termed strain A, was able to utilize 1,4-dioxane and many kinds of cyclic ethers as the sole source of carbon and was identified as Cordyceps sinensis from its 18S rRNA gene sequence. Ethylene glycol was identified as a degradation product of 1,4-dioxane by the use of deuterated 1,4-dioxane-d8 and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. A degradation pathway involving ethylene glycol, glycolic acid, and oxalic acid was proposed, followed by incorporation of the glycolic acid and/or oxalic acid via glyoxylic acid into the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
The present study examined the acute effects of a nutritional supplement intended to improve adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations on vertical jump height, isometric strength of the leg extensors, leg extension endurance, and forearm flexion endurance.
Twenty-four healthy men (mean age ± SD = 23 ± 4 yrs, stature = 181 ± 7 cm, and body mass = 82 ± 12 kg) volunteered to complete a familiarization trial plus 2 randomly-ordered experimental trials separated by a 7-day washout period. Participants received either 6 (body mass < 91 kg) or 8 (body mass ≥ 91 kg) tablets of the treatment (TR; 625 mg of adenylpyrophosphoric acid and calcium pyruvate, 350.8 mg of cordyceps sinensis extract and yohimbine hydrochloride) or placebo (PL; 980 mg of microcrystalline cellulose) 1 hour prior to the following tests: countermovement vertical jump (CVJ), forearm flexion repetitions to exhaustion, isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of the leg extensors, and a 50-repetition maximal concentric isokinetic leg extension endurance test.
There were no differences between the TR and PL trials for CVJ height (P > 0.05), isometric MVC peak torque (P > 0.05), maximal concentric isokinetic peak torque (P > 0.05), percent decline during the leg extension endurance tests (P > 0.05), or repetitions to exhaustion during the forearm flexion endurance tests (P > 0.05).
These findings indicated no improvements in the measured variables as a result of ingesting this nutritional supplement. Future studies should examine whether chronic supplementation or a loading period is necessary to observe any ergogenic effects of this supplement.
Cordyceps sinensis is a medicinal mushroom used for centuries in Asian countries as a health supplement and tonic. Hirsutella sinensis—the anamorphic, mycelial form of C. sinensis—possesses similar properties, and is increasingly used as a health supplement. Recently, C. sinensis extracts were shown to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β in lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophages. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this process has remained unclear. In addition, whether H. sinensis mycelium (HSM) extracts also inhibit the production of IL-1β has not been investigated. In the present study, the HSM extract suppresses IL-1β and IL-18 secretion, and ATP-induced activation of caspase-1. Notably, we observed that HSM not only reduced expression of the inflammasome component NLRP1 and the P2X7R but also reduced the activation of caspase-4, and ATP-induced ROS production. These findings reveal that the HSM extract has anti-inflammatory properties attributed to its ability to inhibit both canonical and non-canonical inflammasomes.
The ability of Ganoderma to produce extracellular enzymes, including β-glucosidase, cellulase, avicelase, pectinase, xylanase, protease, amylase, and ligninase was tested in chromogenic media. β-glucosidase showed the highest activity, among the eight tested enzymes. In particular, Ganoderma neo-japonicum showed significantly stronger activity for β-glucosidase than that of the other enzymes. Two Ganoderma lucidum isolates showed moderate activity for avicelase; however, Ganoderma neo-japonicum showed the strongest activity. Moderate ligninase activity was only observed in Ganoderma neo-japonicum. In contrast, pectinase, amylase, protease, and cellulase were not present in Ganoderma. The results show that the degree of activity of the tested enzymes varied depending on the Ganoderma species tested.
Chromogenic media; Extracellular enzymes; Ganoderma neo-japonicum
Laccate polypores of the Ganoderma lucidum species complex are widespread white rot fungi of economic importance, but isolates cannot be identified by traditional taxonomic methods. Parsimony analysis of nucleotide sequences from the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of the ribosomal gene (rDNA) distinguished six lineages in this species complex. Each ITS lineage may represent one or more putative species. While some isolates have identical ITS sequences, all of them could be clearly differentiated by genetic fingerprinting using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). To investigate the suitability of RAPD markers for taxonomic identification and grouping of isolates of the G. lucidum complex, RAPD fragments (RAPDs) were used as phenotypic characters in numerical and parsimony analyses. Results show that data from RAPDS do not distinguish the same clades as ITS data do. Groupings based on analysis of RAPD data were very sensitive to the choice of the grouping method used, and no consistent grouping of isolates could be proposed. However, analysis with RAPDs did resolve several robust terminal clades containing putatively conspecific isolates, suggesting that RAPDs might be helpful for systematics at the lower taxonomic levels that are unresolved by ITS sequence data. The limitations of RAPDs for systematics are briefly discussed. The conclusion of this study is that ITS sequences can be used to identify isolates of the G. lucidum complex, whereas RAPDs can be used to differentiate between isolates having identical ITS sequences. The practical implications of these results are briefly illustrated.
The quality difference of six varieties Ganoderma lucidum with different origins was investigated in this study by comparing the contents of ganoderic acid A and B, polysaccharide, and triterpenoids. The contents of ganoderic acid A and B in G. lucidum were analyzed by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC). There was higher content of ganoderic acid A in G. lucidum of Dabie Mountain and Longquan. The G. lucidum from Longquan has the highest content of ganoderic acid B. The content of polysaccharide was determined by Anthrone–sulfuric acid method. The highest of polysaccharide content is G. lucidum from Liaocheng. The content of triterpenoid in G. lucidum was quantified by ultraviolet spectrophotometer at 548.1 nm using Ursolic acid as standard. The G. lucidum from Dabie Mountain has the highest content of triterpenoids. In summary, the content of ganoderic acid A and B, polysaccharide, and triterpenoids in G. lucidum with different origins are remarkably different, which may be caused by the conditions of cultivation and geographic environment.
Ganoderma lucidum, ganoderic acid A; ganoderic acid B; polysaccharide; triterpenoids; content determination
Ganoderma lucidum is a traditional Oriental medicine that has been widely used as a tonic to promote longevity and health in Korea and other Asian countries. Although a great deal of work has been carried out on the therapeutic potential of this mushroom, the pharmacological mechanisms of its anti-inflammatory actions remain unclear. In this study, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of G. lucidum ethanol extract (EGL) on the production of inflammatory mediators and cytokines in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine BV2 microglia. We also investigated the effects of EGL on the LPS-induced activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) and upregulation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). Elevated levels of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and pro-inflammatory cytokine production were detected in BV2 microglia following LPS stimulation. We identifed that EGL significantly inhibits the excessive production of NO, PGE2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α in a concentration-dependent manner without causing cytotoxicity. In addition, EGL suppressed NF-κB translocation and transcriptional activity by blocking IκB degradation and inhibiting TLR4 and MyD88 expression in LPS-stimulated BV2 cells. Our results indicate that the inhibitory effects of EGL on LPS-stimulated inflammatory responses in BV2 microglia are associated with the suppression of the NF-κB and TLR signaling pathways. Therefore, EGL may be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases by inhibiting inflammatory mediator responses in activated microglia.
Ganoderma lucidum; BV2 microglia; inflammation; nuclear factor κB; toll-like receptor
Cordyceps sinensis has been described as a medicine in old Chinese medical books and Tibetan medicine. It is a rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus and found at altitudes above 4500m in Sikkim. Traditional healers and local people of North Sikkim recommend the mushroom, i.e., Yarsa gumba, Keera jhar (C. sinensis) for all diseases either as a single drug or combined with other herbs. The present study was undertaken to collect information regarding the traditional uses of cordyceps in Sikkim. It was found that most local folk healers/traditional healers use cordyceps for the treatment of 21 ailments. A modern literature search was carried out to assess whether the curative effects are valid or just blind faith of local people. Chemical constituents of cordyceps are given and pharmacological and biological studies reviewed. More mechanism-based and disease-oriented clinical studies are recommended.
Cordyceps; disease; folk healers; fungus; mushroom; North Sikkim
Ling-zhi, a widely cultivated fungus in China, has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Although the name ‘Ganoderma lucidum’, a species originally described from England, has been applied to the fungus, their identities are not the same. This study aims to clarify the identity of this medicinally and economically important fungus. Specimens of Ling-zhi from China (field collections and cultivated basidiomata of the Chinese ‘G. lucidum’), G. lucidum from UK and other related Ganoderma species, were examined both morphologically and molecularly. High variability of basidioma morphology was found in the cultivated specimens of the Chinese ‘G. lucidum’, while some microscopic characters were more or less consistent, i.e. short clavate cutis elements, Bovista-type ligative hyphae and strongly echinulate basidiospores. These characters were also found in the holotype of G. sichuanense, a species originally described from Sichuan, China, and in recent collections made in the type locality of the species, which matched the diagnostic characters in the prologue. For comparison, specimens of closely related species, G. lucidum, G. multipileum, G. resinaceum, G. tropicum and G. weberianum, were also examined. DNA sequences were obtained from field collections, cultivated basidiomata and living strains of the Chinese ‘G. lucidum’, specimens from the type locality of G. sichuanense, and specimens of the closely related species studied. Three-gene combined analyses (ITS+IGS+rpb2) were performed and the results indicated that the Chinese ‘G. lucidum’ shared almost identical sequences with G. sichuanense. Based on both morphological and molecular data, the identity of the Chinese ‘G. lucidum’ (Ling-zhi) is considered conspecific with G. sichuanense. Detailed morphological descriptions and illustrations are provided in addition to discussion of nomenclature implications.