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Science

Mushroom Compound Suppresses Prostate Tumors

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.

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.[…]

Identification and characterization of novel cytochrome P450 genes from the white-rot basidiomycete, Coriolus versicolor.

Using a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique, cytochrome P450 genes were cloned from the lignin-degrading basidiomycete, Coriolus versicolor. One possible P450 gene was identified, which consisted of 1,672 nucleotides and a poly(A) tail and encoded a deduced protein containing 449 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence revealed the presence of the P450 heme-binding motif, strongly suggesting that this protein belongs to the P450 superfamily, then designated CYP512A1. The deduced protein showed sequential similarity to other known P450s from several micro-organisms, such as Aspergillus terreus, Gibberella fujikuroi, and Neurospora crassa, with 30-35% identity. Since the identity of the amino id sequence was less than 40% with any other P450s, this protein was suggested to be the first member of a new family of cytochrome P450. In addition, a differential display RT-PCR analysis showed the expression of the other P450 genes, which were up-regulated by the addition of dibenzothiophene and 4-methyldibenzothiophene-5-oxide. Using the 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends method, a 520-nucleotide sequence, including the P450 motif-coding region, was determined for one clone. The deduced protein showed high similarity to CYP512A1 but less than 40% identity with P450s from other organisms. A chemical stress-responsive expression of P450 is suggested for the first time in basidiomycetes.[…]

Effect of synthetic and natural culture media on laccase production by white rot fungi.

Laccase is among the major enzymes of white rot fungi involved in lignocellulose degradation. The present paper reports its production by two white rot fungi (Coriolus versicolor, Funalia trogii) under different nutritional conditions. Various synthetic culture media and natural culture medium (molasses wastewater) were tested. Enzyme production in various synthetic culture media, molasses wastewater (vinasse) culture medium and in the absence or presence of cotton stalk supplements showed that vinasse culture medium was a better laccase-inducer medium than the synthetic culture medium. Addition of cotton stalk to various media enhanced the enzyme production. The highest laccase activity was obtained in vinasse culture medium with cotton stalk.[…]

Identification and heterologous expression of the cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase from the white-rot basidiomycete Coriolus versicolor.

A cDNA encoding cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CPR) from the lignin-degrading basidiomycete Coriolus versicolor was identified using RT-PCR. The full-length cDNA consisted of 2,484 nucleotides with a poly(A) tail, and contained an open reading frame. The G+C content of the cDNA isolated was 60%. A deduced protein contained 730 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular weight of 80.7 kDa. The conserved amino acid residues involved in functional domains such as FAD-, FMN-, and NADPH-binding domains, were all found in the deduced protein. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that C. versicolor CPR is significantly similar to CPR of the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium and that they share the same major branch in the fungal cluster. A recombinant CPR protein was expressed using a pET/ Escherichia coli system. The recombinant CPR protein migrated at 81 kDa on SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. It exhibited an NADPH-dependent cytochrome c reducing activity.[…]

Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Bioorganosolve pretreatments for simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of beech wood by ethanolysis and white rot fungi.

Ethanol was produced by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) from beech wood chips after bioorganosolve pretreatments by ethanolysis and white rot fungi, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, Dichomitus squalens, Pleurotus ostreatus, and Coriolus versicolor. Beech wood chips were pretreated with the white rot fungi for 2-8 weeks without addition of any nutrients. The wood chips were then subjected to ethanolysis to separate them into pulp and soluble fractions (SFs). From the pulp fraction (PF), ethanol was produced by SSF using Saccharomyces cerevisiae AM12 and a commercial cellulase preparation, Meicelase, from Trichoderma viride. Among the four strains, C. subvermispora gave the highest yield on SSF. The yield of ethanol obtained after pretreatment with C. subvermispora for 8 weeks was 0.294 g g(-1) of ethanolysis pulp (74% of theoretical) and 0.176 g g(-1) of beech wood chips (62% of theoretical). The yield was 1.[…]

Purification, characterization, and molecular cloning of a pyranose oxidase from the fruit body of the basidiomycete, Tricholoma matsutake.

A new H(2)O(2)-generating pyranose oxidase was purified as a strong antifungal protein from an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Tricholoma matsutake. The protein showed a molecular mass of 250 kDa in gel filtration, and probably consisted of four identical 62 kDa subunits. The protein contained flavin moiety and it oxidized D-glucose at position C-2. H(2)O(2) and D-glucosone produced by the pyranose oxidase reaction showed antifungal activity, suggesting these compounds were the molecular basis of the antifungal property. The V(max), K(m), and k(cat) for D-glucose were calculated to be 26.6 U/mg protein, 1.28 mM, and 111/s, respectively. The enzyme was optimally active at pH 7.5 to 8.0 and at 50 degrees C. The preferred substrate was D-glucose, but 1,5-anhydro-D-glucitol, L-sorbose, and D-xylose were also oxidized at a moderate level. The cDNA encodes a protein consisting of 564 amino acids, showing 35.1% identity to Coriolus versicolor pyranose oxidase. The recombinant protein was used for raising the antibody.[…]

Fungal polysaccharopeptide inhibits tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth in mice.

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.[…]

Pretreatment of bamboo residues with Coriolus versicolor for enzymatic hydrolysis.

Pretreatment by a white-rot fungus Coriolus versicolor B1 under different conditions and saccharification of bamboo were investigated. The saccharification rate was significantly enhanced and a maximum saccharification rate of 37.0% was achieved after pretreatment. Reducing sugars yield was 223.2 mg/g of bamboo residues, which was 2.34 times that of the raw material. It was feasible to treat bamboo residues with B1 for the saccharification of bamboo.[…]

Immune System Genes Show Links to Type 1 Diabetes – By Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) — The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but international researchers have found a link between the blood sugar disorder and a network of immune system genes.[…]