Quantification of the bioactive compound eritadenine in selected strains of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes)

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1177-80. doi: 10.1021/jf062559+. Epub 2007 Jan 27.


Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death in the Western world, and a high level of blood cholesterol is considered a risk factor. The edible fungus, shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes), contains the hypocholesterolemic agent eritadenine, 2(R),3(R)-dihydroxy-4-(9-adenyl)-butyric acid. This study was conducted to quantify the amount of the cholesterol reducing agent eritadenine in shiitake mushrooms, in search of a potential natural medicine against blood cholesterol. The amounts of eritadenine in the fruit bodies of four different shiitake mushrooms, Le-1, Le-2, Le-A, and Le-B, were investigated in this study. To achieve this goal, methanol extraction was used to recover as much as possible of the hypocholesterolemic agent from the fungal cells. In addition, enzymes that degrade the fungal cell walls were also used to elucidate if the extraction could be further enhanced. To analyze the target compound, a reliable and reproducible HPLC method for separation, identification, and quantification of eritadenine was developed. The shiitake strains under investigation exhibit up to 10 times higher levels of eritadenine than previously reported for other shiitake strains. Further, pretreating the mushrooms with hydrolytic enzymes before methanol extraction resulted in an insignificant increase in the amount of eritadenine released. These results indicate the potential for delivery of therapeutic amounts of eritadenine from the ingestion of extracts or dried concentrates of shiitake mushroom strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenine / analysis
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / chemistry*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • eritadenine
  • Adenine