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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e34406. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034406. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Extract of Pleurotus pulmonarius suppresses liver cancer development and progression through inhibition of VEGF-induced PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths. Conventional chemotherapies are limited by the development of drug resistance and various side effects. Because of its non-toxicity and potent biopharmacological activity, metabolites derived from mushrooms have received more attention in cancer therapy. Our previous studies have demonstrated the anticancer effects of polysaccharide-protein complexes derived from the Pleurotus mushrooms. The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism of the anticancer activity of a hot water extract containing a polysaccharide-protein complex isolated from Pleurotus pulmonarius (PP) in liver cancer cells. Our results indicated that exposure of liver cancer cells to PP not only significantly reduced the in vitro cancer cell proliferation and invasion but also enhanced the drug-sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic drug Cisplatin. Both oral administration and intraperitoneal injection of PP significantly inhibited the tumor growth in xenograft BALB/c nude mice. PP triggered a marked suppression of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in liver cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, and overexpression of the constitutively active form of AKT, Myr-AKT, abrogated this effect and the inhibited proliferation and invasion by PP. Both western blot and ELISA results showed that PP-treated liver cancer cells had reduced expression and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Addition of recombinant human VEGF attenuated the inhibitory effects of PP on PI3K/AKT pathway and the cancer phenotypes. Our results demonstrated that PP suppressed the proliferation, invasion, and drug-resistance of liver cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, mediated by the inhibition of autocrine VEGF-induced PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. This study suggests the potential therapeutic implication of PP in the treatment of human liver cancer.

PMID:
22470568
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3314644
Free PMC Article

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