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Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(40):5613-5630. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170720165005.

Apoptosis and Anti-cancer Drug Discovery: The Power of Medicinal Fungi and Plants.

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School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.
School of Chinese Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Sassoon Road, Hong Kong, China.
Department of Clinical Oncology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
School of Medicine, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.
Fujian Key Laboratory of Marine Enzyme Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, Fujian, China.
Key Laboratory of Biopesticide and Chemical Biology, Ministry of Education, and Key Laboratory of Plant Virology of Fujian Province, Institute of Plant Virology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350002, China.
State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology and Department of Microbiology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
Department of Microbiology, College of Life Science, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China.
Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Shenzhen University Health Science Center, Shenzhen, China.
Vita Green Pharmaceuticals (HK) Ltd, Vita Green Health Products (HK) Ltd Genning Partners Company Limited, and Hong Kong Institute of Medical Research, Hong Kong, China.


The purpose of this account is to review the compounds capable of eliciting mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells produced by medicinal fungi and plants. The medicinal fungi discussed encompass Cordyceps, Ganoderma species, Coriolus versicolor and Hypsizygus marmoreus. The medicinal plants discussed comprise Astragalus complanatus, Dendrobium spp, Dioscorea spp, Glycyrrhiza spp, Panax notoginseng, Panax ginseng, and Momordica charantia. These compounds have the potential of development into anticancer drugs.


Medicinal fungi; anticancer; apoptosis; medicinal plants; mitochondria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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