Boletus edulis biologically active biopolymers induce cell cycle arrest in human colon adenocarcinoma cells

Food Funct. 2013 Apr 25;4(4):575-85. doi: 10.1039/c2fo30324h. Epub 2013 Jan 31.


The use of biologically active compounds isolated from edible mushrooms against cancer raises global interest. Anticancer properties are mainly attributed to biopolymers including mainly polysaccharides, polysaccharopeptides, polysaccharide proteins, glycoproteins and proteins. In spite of the fact that Boletus edulis is one of the widely occurring and most consumed edible mushrooms, antitumor biopolymers isolated from it have not been exactly defined and studied so far. The present study is an attempt to extend this knowledge on molecular mechanisms of their anticancer action. The mushroom biopolymers (polysaccharides and glycoproteins) were extracted with hot water and purified by anion-exchange chromatography. The antiproliferative activity in human colon adenocarcinoma cells (LS180) was screened by means of MTT and BrdU assays. At the same time fractions' cytotoxicity was examined on the human colon epithelial cells (CCD 841 CoTr) by means of the LDH assay. Flow cytometry and Western blotting were applied to cell cycle analysis and protein expression involved in anticancer activity of the selected biopolymer fraction. In vitro studies have shown that fractions isolated from Boletus edulis were not toxic against normal colon epithelial cells and in the same concentration range elicited a very prominent antiproliferative effect in colon cancer cells. The best results were obtained in the case of the fraction designated as BE3. The tested compound inhibited cancer cell proliferation which was accompanied by cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1-phase. Growth inhibition was associated with modulation of the p16/cyclin D1/CDK4-6/pRb pathway, an aberration of which is a critical step in the development of many human cancers including colon cancer. Our results indicate that a biopolymer BE3 from Boletus edulis possesses anticancer potential and may provide a new therapeutic/preventive option in colon cancer chemoprevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Biopolymers / isolation & purification
  • Biopolymers / pharmacology
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Fungal Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Fungal Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Biopolymers
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Polysaccharides