Author(s): Shi X, Zhao Y, Jiao Y, Shi T, Yang X
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Abstract BACKGROUND: A greater reduction in cancer risk associated with mushroom diet rich in fungus polysaccharides is generally accepted. Meanwhile, edible Pleurotus abalonus as a member of Abalone mushroom family is a popular nutritional supplement that purportedly prevents cancer occurrence. However, these anecdotal claims are supported by limited studies describing tumor-inhibitory responses to the promising polysaccharides, and the molecular mechanisms underlying these properties have not yet been elucidated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We here fractionated the crude polysaccharide preparation from the fruiting bodies of P. abalonus into three fractions, namely PAP-1, PAP-2 and PAP-3, and tested these fractions for antiproliferative activity in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. The largest PAP-3, an acidic polysaccharide fraction with a molecular mass of 3.68×10(5) Da, was the most active in inhibiting MCF-7 cancer cells with an IC50 of 193 µg/mL. The changes in cell normal morphology were observed by DAPI staining and the PAP-3-induced apoptosis was confirmed by annexin V/propidium iodide staining. The apoptosis was involved in mitochondria-mediated pathway including the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm), the increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase-9/3 activation, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) degradation, as well as intracellular ROS production. PAP-3 also induced up-regulation of p53, and cell cycle arrest at the S phase. The incubation of MCF-7 cells with antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) significantly attenuated the ROS generation and apoptosis caused by PAP-3, indicating that intracellular ROS plays a pivotal role in cell death. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that the polysaccharides, especially acidic PAP-3, are very important nutritional ingredients responsible for, at least in part, the anticancer health benefits of P. abalonus via ROS-mediated mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. It is a major breakthrough bringing new insight of the potential use of the polysaccharides as health-care food or medicine to provide significant natural defense against human cancer.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy