Recent evidence suggested that prostate cancer stem/progenitor cells (CSC) are responsible for cancer initiation as well as disease progression. Unfortunately, conventional therapies are only effective in targeting the more differentiated cancer cells and spare the CSCs. Here, we report that PSP, an active component extracted from the mushroom Turkey tail (also known as Coriolus versicolor), is effective in targeting prostate CSCs. We found that treatment of the prostate cancer cell line PC-3 with PSP led to the down-regulation of CSC markers (CD133 and CD44) in a time and dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, PSP treatment not only suppressed the ability of PC-3 cells to form prostaspheres under non-adherent culture conditions, but also inhibited their tumorigenicity in vivo, further proving that PSP can suppress prostate CSC properties. To investigate if the anti-CSC effect of PSP may lead to prostate cancer chemoprevention, transgenic mice (TgMAP) that spontaneously develop prostate tumors were orally fed with PSP for 20 weeks. Whereas 100% of the mice that fed with water only developed prostate tumors at the end of experiment, no tumors could be found in any of the mice fed with PSP, suggesting that PSP treatment can completely inhibit prostate tumor formation. Our results not only demonstrated the intriguing anti-CSC effect of PSP, but also revealed, for the first time, the surprising chemopreventive property of oral PSP consumption against prostate cancer.
ScienceDaily (May 24, 2011) — A mushroom used in Asia for its medicinal benefits has been found to be 100 percent effective in suppressing prostate tumour development in mice during early trials, new Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research shows.
The compound, polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which is extracted from the ‘turkey tail’ mushroom, was found to target prostate cancer stem cells and suppress tumour formation in mice, according to an article written by senior research fellow Dr Patrick Ling in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.
Dr Ling, from the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland and Institute for Biomedical Health & Innovation (IHBI) at QUT, said the results could be an important step towards fighting a disease that kills 3,000 Australian men a year.
“The findings are quite significant,” Dr Ling said.
“What we wanted to demonstrate was whether that compound could stop the development of prostate tumours in the first place.
“In the past, other inhibitors tested in research trials have been shown to be up to 70 percent effective, but we’re seeing 100 percent of this tumour prevented from developing with PSP.
“Importantly, we did not see any side effects from the treatment.”
Dr Ling said conventional therapies were only effective in targeting certain cancer cells, not cancer stem cells, which initiated cancer and caused the disease to progress.
During the research trial, which was done in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong and Provital Pty Ltd, transgenic mice that developed prostate tumours were fed PSP for 20 weeks.
Dr Ling said no tumours were found in any of the mice fed PSP, whereas mice not given the treatment developed prostate tumours. He said the research suggested that PSP treatment could completely inhibit prostate tumour formation.
“Our findings support that PSP may be a potent preventative agent against prostate cancer, possibly through targeting of the prostate cancer stem cell population,” he said.
He said PSP had been previously shown to possess anti-cancer properties, and ‘turkey tail’ mushrooms (known as Coriolus versicolor or Yun-zhi) had been widely used in Asia for medicinal benefits.
However, Dr Ling said it was the first time it had been demonstrated that PSP had anti-cancer stem cell effects.
Although ‘turkey tail’ mushrooms had valuable health properties, Dr Ling said it would not be possible to get the same benefit his research showed from simply eating them.
A fundraiser has been organised in September to support further tests for the therapeutic potential of PSP against prostate tumours either alone or in combination with other anti-cancer compounds.
Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) isolated from the edible mushroom Coriolus versicolor was tested for its potential as an anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) compound in a series of in vitro assays. It demonstrated inhibition of the interaction between HIV-1 gp 120 and immobilized CD4 receptor (IC50=150 microgram/ml), potent inhibition of recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (IC50=6.25 microgram/ml), and inhibited a glycohydrolase enzyme associated with viral glycosylation. These properties, coupled with its high solubility in water, heat-stability and low cytotoxicity, make it a useful compound for further studies on its possible use as an anti-viral agent in vivo.
Coriolus versicolor extract
An extract derived from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor, containing polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharidepeptide (PSP), with potential immunomodulating and antineoplastic activities. Coriolus versicolor extract has been shown to stimulate the production of lymphocytes and cytokines, such as interferons and interleukins, and may exhibit antioxidant activities. However, the precise mechanism of action(s) of this agent is unknown. Check for active clinical trials or closed clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Breast cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in the world (1), and it is the commonest cancer amongst women (1,2). The mortality of breast cancer is low (1), however, because of its high incidence and the increasing global trend (1,3,4), it results in medical costs worldwide estimated to be more than.
Coriolus mushroom is a fungus. People have used the fruiting body and other parts as folk medicine for a long time. Recently, researchers have started to isolate and identify substances in coriolus that might act like pharmaceutical drugs. Two of these substances are polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Scientists think these chemicals might be able to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Coriolus mushroom, PSP, and PSK are used for stimulating the immune system; treating herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, and pulmonary disorders; reducing phlegm; improving bodybuilding results; increasing energy; curing ringworm and a skin condition called impetigo; treating upper respiratory, urinary, and digestive tract infections; curing liver disorders including hepatitis; reducing the toxic effects and pain of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy; prolonging life and raising the quality of life of cancer patients; and increasing appetite.
While there are many types of mushrooms, the basic lifecycle of most mushrooms is similar. Mature mushroom fruit bodies release millions
of spores, which germinate to produce hyphae. Different hyphae fuse together to form a network of threads called mycelium. Mycelium then grow to produce mature fruit bodies and the mushroom life cycle starts again.
Currently, extracts of Coriolus versicolor called polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP) are under study as immune stimulants for use alongside chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. These two related substances, made from slightly different strains of the fungus, are thought to act as “biological response modifiers,” meaning that they affect the body’s response to cancer.
PSP has been shown to manifest immunomodulatory and anticancer properties in both pre-clinical experiments and clinical trials. It has been
shown to reduce the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and has been used as an adjunct medical modality to conventional cancer treatment. Experiments suggest that PSP can boost the immune system and alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy.
Based on the PSP´s significant findings in the investigated cancers of the Phase II trial, permission was granted by the Chinese Administration of Health Bureau to carry out a multi-center Phase III clinical trial. Fourteen hospitals including the eight who participated in the phase II trial conducted this randomized study from April 1996 to September 1997.