Chemical characterization, antiproliferative and antiadhesive properties of polysaccharides extracted from Pleurotus pulmonarius mycelium and fruiting bodies

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Feb;85(6):1977-90. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2296-x. Epub 2009 Oct 15.


Mushroom polysaccharides are potent substances that exhibit antitumor and immunomodulatory properties. Studies comparing the chemical composition and antitumor-related activities of polysaccharides released by fungal strains under different growth conditions are not available. Thus, the present study compared polysaccharides extracts produced by Pleurotus pulmonarius from mycelium grown in liquid culture (ME) or fruiting bodies (FBE). Polysaccharides of both ME and FBE had a relatively high molecular mass. NMR spectroscopy indicated that ME glucan is an alpha-glucan whereas FBE glucan is a mixture of both alpha- and beta-glucans. Glucose and galactose where the most prominent monosaccharide in both glucans. Treatment of several colon cancer cell lines expressing varying amounts of galectin-3 with the two fungal glucans inhibited their viability and significantly reduced their ability to adhere to the key component of the extracellular matrix, fibronectin, and to a human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayer, in a time- and dose-dependent manner mainly in those cell lines expressing high amounts of galectin-3. We conclude that ME and FBE glucans may exert a direct antiproliferative effect on cancer cells expressing high galectin-3 concentrations and concomitantly downregulate tumor cell adherence, the latter being directly related to cancer progression and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Complex Mixtures* / chemistry
  • Complex Mixtures* / isolation & purification
  • Complex Mixtures* / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mycelium / chemistry*
  • Pleurotus / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides* / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides* / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides* / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Complex Mixtures
  • Polysaccharides