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The Physio-Chemical Characteristics of the Polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) of Coriolus versicolor (Yun Zhi)

The polysaccharide portion is composed of the five monsaccharides, galactose, glucose, mannose, xylose, and fucose. The amino acids most frequently found in the polypeptide are aspartic and glutamic. PSP has no sharply defined fusion point. It is insoluble in methyl alcohol, pryridine, benzene, hexane, and chloroform but is very soluble in hot water. The pH value of its 1% water solution is 6.6. It is heat and light stable. &nbp; When kept at a temperature of 100oC for 48 hours or irradiated with ultraviolet light for 30 hours there is essentially no change in composition. Using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) the molecular weight has been calculated at about 1×105 Dalton.[…]

The cell death process of the anticancer agent polysaccharidepeptide (PSP) in human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells.

The polysaccharide peptide (PSP) isolated from the mycelia of Chinese Medicinal fungus Coriolus versicolor has proven

benefits in clinical trials in China but the mechanism of action has not been elucidated. In this study, HL-60 cell line was

used to investigate the anti-proliferation and cell death process of PSP. The cytotoxicity of PSP on normal human

T-lymphocytes was also evaluated. We show that PSP induced apoptosis of human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells

but not of normal human T-lymphocytes. The apoptotic machinery induced by PSP was associated with a decrease in

Bcl-2/Bax ratio, drop in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, cytochrome c release, and activation of caspase-3, -8 and

-9. Activation of the cellular apoptotic program is a current strategy for the treatment of human cancer, and the selectivity

of PSP to induce apoptosis in cancerous and not on normal cells supports its development as a novel anticancer agent.[…]

The Influence of PSP on the Behavior and Growth of the Fetus in Rats

The data observed showed that PSP has no noticeable toxicity on fetus growth and on the behavioral performance of 1st and 2nd generation rats.[…]


Though PSP and PSK are all a kind of protein bound polysaccharide and are all extracted from the deep layer cultivated mycelia, yet they use the different strains, fermented medium and different extracted methods. Thus there is a certain difference between PSP and PSK. It is known that in the polysaccharide of PSP there is fucose, while there is no fucose in PSP, which contains arabinose and rhamnose; while there are no such ingredients in PSK. On the other hand, according to the pharmacological and clinical research, PSP has the definite effect of alleviating pain and increasing appetite, while there is no such report on PSK. Comparison of Two Characterisitics of PSP and PSK […]

Antitumor Effect of Polysaccharide Peptide of Coriolus versicolor (PSP) and its Mechanism

It has been known that some polysaccharides and polysaccharide peptide isolated from various natural sources, especially isolated from Basiodiomycetes have certain anti-tumor activities. The polysaccharide contained a main chain of an alpha and beta (1-4) glucan and a tightly bound 15-38% polypeptides (PSP) isolated from Coriolus versicolor (Fr) Quel. (Cov-1) by Professor Qing-yao Yang also exhibited antitumor action against mouse sarcoma 180 in vitro and in vivo. Recent experiments suggest three possible mechanism by which these PSP might act: (1) Potentiating of T-cell mediated cytotoxicity which killed more number of target-tumor cells. (2) Definite concentration of PSP produced direct cytotoxic activity in vitro. (3) Induction of tumorcidal macrophages killed more cancer cells. In this paper the antitumor action of PSP and its possible mechanism are reported[…]

Clinical Experience in the Use of PSP

Data on Krestin suggest that this family of drugs when used in combination with radiotherapy, there might be an increase of the biological effects of radiation. To do a pilot study on such a possibility, the authors have treated 41 moderate to advanced cases of esophageal carcinoma with a combination of PSP and radiotherapy.[…]

Evaluation of polysaccharopeptide effects against C6 glioma in combination with radiation.

Long-term control of high-grade brain tumors is rarely achieved with current therapeutic regimens. The major goal of this study was to determine whether polysaccharopeptide (PSP), a crude polysaccharide peptide extract derived from Coriolus versicolor, a fungus, could enhance the effects of radiation against glioma cells in culture and in xenografted tumors in vivo. PSP significantly augmented radiation-induced damage to C6 rat glioma cells in vitro. Nude mice injected subcutaneously with the C6 cells were treated with PSP (injected intraperitoneally at 2 mg/injection) and radiation (2 Gy/fraction, 8 Gy in total) using three different time-dose protocols. Tumor volumes were consistently smaller in all treated groups compared to the non-treated tumor-bearing controls except in one group which received PSP prior to tumor implantation. The administration of radiation alone resulted in the slowest tumor progression, whereas PSP alone had no effect. Furthermore, PSP in combination with radiation treatment did not increase radiation efficacy. Natural killer cell, lymphocyte and granulocyte counts in blood and spleen were significantly higher in PSP-treated animals, demonstrating that PSP has protective effects on immunological function. Collectively, these results warrant further investigation to determine if PSP can be effectively utilized to upregulate immune responsiveness in case of neoplasia and other diseases in which immunosuppression is a prominent feature.[…]

Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide peptide slows progression of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

PSP treatment appears to be associated with slower deterioration in patients with advanced NSCLC.[…]

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.[…]

Molecular characterization of Coriolus versicolor PSP-induced apoptosis in human promyelotic leukemic HL-60 cells using cDNA microarray.

The present study provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in PSP-induced apoptosis in leukemic HL-60 cells analyzed by cDNA microarray.[…]