The anti-tumor activity of Antrodia salmonea in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells is mediated via the induction of G₁ cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in vitro or in vivo

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Apr 28;153(2):499-510. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.012. Epub 2014 Mar 14.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The medicinal mushroom Antrodia salmonea has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine and has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Materials and methods: In the present study, we examined the anti-tumor activity of the fermented culture broth of Antrodia salmonea (AS) in vitro and in vivo and revealed its underlying molecular mechanism of action.

Results: Treatment of human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells with AS (50-150 μg/mL) significantly reduced cell viability and caused G1 arrest via the inhibition of cell-cycle regulatory proteins, including cyclin D1, CDK4, cyclin E, cyclin A, and phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein (p-Rb). Furthermore, AS treatment induced apoptosis, which was associated with DNA fragmentation, followed by a sequence of events, including intracellular ROS generation; mitochondrial dysfunction; Fas ligand activation; cytochrome c release; caspase-3, -8, -9, and PARP activation; and Bcl-2/Bax dysregulation. The results of the in vitro study suggested that AS-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells was mediated by both the mitochondrial and death receptor pathways. Furthermore, we found that AS treatment was effective in delaying tumor incidence in HL-60 xenografted nude mice and reducing tumor burden.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report confirming the anti-tumor activity of this potentially beneficial mushroom against human promyelocytic leukemia.

Keywords: Antrodia salmonea; Apoptosis; G(1) cell-cycle arrest; Human promyelocytic leukemia; Xenografted nude mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antrodia* / isolation & purification
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • G1 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • G1 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / physiology
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays / methods


  • Antineoplastic Agents