Suppression of proliferation and oxidative stress by extracts of Ganoderma lucidum in the ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR-3

Int J Mol Med. 2011 Dec;28(6):1065-9. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2011.788. Epub 2011 Sep 1.


Lingzhi (LZ) is a medical mushroom also known as Ganoderma lucidum, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years and moreover, due to its presumed health benefits and apparent absence of side-effects it has also been widely consumed as a dietary supplement by cancer patients and by individuals diagnosed with various chronic diseases. The reported benefits of Ganoderma lucidum may be largely ascribed to its biologically active constituent polysaccharides and triterpenes known as ganoderic acids having structural similarity to steroid hormones. Laboratory studies have shown that Ganoderma lucidum enhances immune functions and also inhibits growth of various cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism by which Ganoderma lucidum exerts its chemopreventive activities remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether Ganoderma lucidum elicits its anti-tumor effects by suppressing cell growth and inducing antioxidative/detoxification activity in human ovarian OVCAR-3 cells. The results showed that Ganoderma lucidum inhibits cell growth and disruption of cell cycle progression via down regulation of cyclin D1. Chemopreventive activities elicited by Ganoderma lucidum were demonstrated by the induction of antioxidant SOD and catalase as well as the phase II detoxification enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) via the Nrf2 mediated signaling pathway known to provide chemoprotection against carcinogenicity. These findings indicate that Ganoderma lucidum possesses chemopreventive potential contributing to its overall health effects and further suggest that Ganoderma lucidum may have clinical applications as an adjunct supplementary agent in chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / metabolism
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Reishi / chemistry*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • NFE2L2 protein, human
  • Triterpenes
  • ganoderic acid
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • NQO1 protein, human
  • Glutathione Transferase