Hericium erinaceus enhances doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Cancer Lett. 2010 Nov 28;297(2):144-54. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2010.05.006.


It has been demonstrated that the Hericium erinaceus (HE) mushroom, which primarily consists of polysaccharides, possesses anti-tumor activities. However, the mechanisms by which HE inhibits human hepatocellular carcinoma growth remain unknown. Our study demonstrates that HE acts as an enhancer to sensitize doxorubicin (Dox)-mediated apoptotic signaling, and this sensitization can be achieved by reducing c-FLIP expression via JNK activation and enhancing intracellular Dox accumulation via the inhibition of NF-κB activity. These findings suggest that HE in combination with Dox serves as an effective tool for treating drug-resistant human hepatocellular carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Polysaccharides
  • Doxorubicin