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Cancer Lett. 2006 Nov 28;244(1):61-70. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

An aqueous polysaccharide extract from the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus induces anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on HT-29 colon cancer cells.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities of fractions of Pleurotus ostreatus were examined using HT-29 colon cancer cells in vitro. A hot-water-soluble fraction of the mycelium of the liquid cultured mushroom was partially isolated and chemically characterized as a low-molecular-weight alpha-glucan. HT-29 cells were exposed to the different isolates and significant inhibition of proliferation was obtained in a dose-dependent manner. Proliferation inhibition was shown to be the result of apoptotic induction because the pro-apoptotic molecules Bax and cytosolic cytochrome-c were upregulated. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analyses of polysaccharide-treated HT-29 cells showed a high percentage of Annexin-positive cells. Here, we describe a newly identified low-molecular-weight alpha-glucan with promising anti-tumorigenic properties, and demonstrate its direct effect on colon cancer cell proliferation via induction of programmed cell death.

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