Tag Archives: in vitro

Coriolus versicolor Detailed Scientific Review

Mushrooms have been used for at least 5000 years for nutritional and medicinal purposes1,2. Anti-viral and anti-cancer effects have been demonstrated in more than 50 species through animal and in vitro studies. Six components of these mushrooms have been investigated for their activity in human cancers: the lentinan component of shiitake, schizophyllan, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), maitake D-fraction and two components of Coriolus versicolor. According to the review by Kidd, lentinan and schizophyllan have limited oral bioavailability, and the AHCC and maitake D-fractions are still in the early stages of investigation, but the two Coriolus versicolor components have been extensively investigated and show promise2.

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Polysaccharopeptide from Coriolus versicolor has potential for use against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection

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.

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Clinical trial China phase 2

Polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) is a protein bound polysaccharide isolated from the COV-1 strain of Yunzhi (Coriolous versicolor mushroom) and made from modern alcohol extraction techniques. Each capsule contains 0.34 grams of PSP. Experimental in-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown PSP inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells including P338 leukemia cells, S 180 cells, Ehrlich ascites, and stomach and lung cancer cells. It also inhibits the growth of some tumors such as the lymphatic tumor of human skin tissue cells. In addition, PSP affects the immune system of mice by stimulating the production of ?\interferons, increasing the phagocytic index and metabolic rate of the reticuloendothilial system and by raising the HC 50 (median hemolytic dose), IgG and PFC (plaque forming cell) values. Human in-vivo experiments have also shown PSP can modulate the immune system by helping to prevent and partly eliminate the side effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic agents used by cancer patients.

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Basty University herbal monographs

PSK fights cancers and tumors by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and by “stimulating a host mediated response.” Natural Killer cells are also promoted to enhance the immune system. It is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to increase cancer survival rates.  PSP is being proposed as an inhibitor of HIV replication based on an in vitro study

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The culture duration affects the immunomodulatory and anticancer effect of polysaccharopeptide derived from Coriolus versicolor

Cheuk-Lun Lee, Xiaotong Yang, Jennifer Man-Fan Wan

Department of Zoology, Kardoorie Biological Science Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR, China

Received 24 December 2003; accepted 5 October 2004


Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) derives from the medicinal mushroom Coriolus versicolor is considered a biological response modifier with potential pharmaceutical applications. Significant literatures support the immune and anticancer functions of PSP; however, standardization is of big concern because variable biotechnological factors can affect both the chemical and biological properties of PSP. In this study, the extracts of PSP obtained at different days from the Coriolus versicolor culture were tested in vitro for their immune function on human normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and cytotoxicity on the human leukemia Molt 4 cells. Over the 10-days culture period, both biomass and peptide/polysaccharide content were increased with time. The increase in proliferation index of PBMC and their production of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1_), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-_) and gamma interferon (IFN-_) in the presence of PHA strengthens the correlation between culture duration and biological potency of PSP. The growth inhibition of the Molt 4 cells by PSP also depended on its maturity. Flow cytometry analysis on cell cycle and cell death (apoptosis) of Molt 4 cells indicated that the anticancer mechanism of PSP is related to its ability to induce S-phase cell arrest and apoptosis, respectively. Together, these results suggest that monitor the harvest duration is critical for the quality control of polysaccharopeptide in the biotechnological industry.

© 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Coriolus versicolor; Polysaccharopeptide; Flow cytometry; High performance liquid chromatography; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Molt 4

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Study on Anti-tumor Action of PSP

R.T. Chen, A.M. Zhou, B. Xu Department of Pharmacology I Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Academia Sinica


It has been reported that some polysaccharides possess antitumor action. PSP is a glycopeptide isolated from Coriolus versicolor by Yang et al. Its physiological properties have been investigated. In the present work we studied the antitumor action of PSP in vitro experiments.


PSP at the doses of 500 or 1000ug/ml produced inhibitory effect on P388 luekemia cells by 79-96%. At the dose of 1000 or 2000ug/ml PSP caused the inhibition of [3H]UR or [3H]TdR incorporation into RNA and DNA in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells was found to be the inhibition rate 50-80% or 27-47% respectively.

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Suppression of cancer cell growth in vitro by the protein-bound polysaccharide of Coriolus versicolor QUEL (PS-K) with SOD mimicking activity.

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Cancer Biother. 1994 Spring;9(1):63-9.

Kobayashi Y, Kariya K, Saigenji K, Nakamura K.

Molecular Biology Laboratory, Kotasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


The protein-bound polysaccharide of Coriolus versicolor QUEL (PS-K) expresses the mimicking activity of superoxide

dismutase (SOD). Examination was made of the suppressive effects of PS-K on cancer cell lines cultured in vitro. The

SOD activity of LLC-WRC-256 (Walker 256 fibrosarcoma) cell lines was less than that of NRK-49F (rat normal kidney

fibroblast), H4-II-E (rat hepatoma) and H4-II-E-C3 (rat hepatoma) cell lines. This activity in Walker 256 fibrosarcoma cells

increased by 3.6 times and H2O2 concentration, by 2.56 times by PS-K 500 micrograms/ml. Cell proliferation was

consequently suppressed and living cells decreased to less than 50% of the cells cultured without PS-K. Catalase and

glutathione peroxidase activity changed little by PS-K. The sensitivity of cancer cells to PS-K can be predetermined based

on SOD activity in tumor tissue.

PMID: 7812358 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


U.S. National Library of Medicine

National Institutes of Health

MeSH Terms, Substances

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Differential effect of Coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) extract on cytokine production by murine lymphocytes in vitro.

CY Ho, CB Lau, CF Kim, KN Leung, KP Fung, TF Tse, HH Chan, MS Chow.

School of Pharmacy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.

Being one of the commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs, Coriolus versicolor (CV), also named as Yunzhi, was known to possess both anti-tumor and immunopotentiating activities. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro immunomodulatory effect of a standardized ethanol-water extract prepared from CV on the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes using the MTT assay, and the production of six T helper (Th)-related cytokines using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The results showed that the CV extract significantly augmented the proliferation of murine splenic lymphocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner, maximally by 2.4-fold. Moreover, the production of two Th1-related cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-12, in culture supernatants from the CV extract-activated lymphocytes was prominently upregulated at 48 and 72 h. Positive correlations were found between the levels of these two cytokines and the MTT-based proliferative response. In contrast, the production of two other Th1-related cytokines, including interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-18, was significantly augmented only at 24 h, but not at 48 and 72 h. On the other hand, the levels of two Th2-related cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-6 were undetectable in the culture supernatants of lymphocytes treated with the CV extract. The CV extract was suggested to be a lymphocyte mitogen by differentially enhancing the production of Th1-related cytokines.

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

F Zeng, CC Hon, WH Sit, KY Chow, RK Hui, IK Law, VW Ng, XT Yang, FC Leung, JM Wan.

Department of Zoology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, P.R. China.

Proteins and peptide bound polysaccharides (PSP) extracted from Basidiomycetous fungi are widely used in cancer immunotherapy and recently demonstrated to induce apoptosis in cancer cells in vitro. In order to provide the molecular pharmacological mechanisms of PSP on human cancer cells, we investigated the gene expression profiles of PSP-treated apoptotic human promyelotic leukemic HL-60 cells using ResGen 40k IMAGE printed cDNA microarray. In total 378 and 111 transcripts were identified as differentially expressed in the apoptotic cells by at least a factor of 2 or 3, respectively. Our data show that PSP-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells might be mediated by up-regulation of early transcription factors such as AP-1, EGR1, IER2 and IER5, and down-regulation of NF-kappaB transcription pathways. Other gene expression changes, including the increase of several apoptotic or anti-proliferation genes, such as GADD45A/B and TUSC2, and the decrease of a batch of phosphatase and kinase genes, may also provide further evidences in supporting the process of PSP induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Some of the well-characterized carcinogenesis-related gene transcripts such as SAT, DCT, Melan-A, uPA and cyclin E1 were also alternated by PSP in the HL-60 cells. These transcripts can be employed as markers for quality control of PSP products on functional levels. The present study provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in PSP-induced apoptosis in leukemic HL-60 cells analyzed by cDNA microarray.

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