Anticancer effects on human pancreatic cancer cells of triterpenoids, polysaccharides and 1,3-β-D-glucan derived from the fruiting body of Antrodia camphorata

Food Funct. 2014 Dec;5(12):3224-32. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00720d.


Antrodia camphorata is a fungus native to Taiwan, and it is considered a precious medicinal agent. We analyzed triterpenoids, polysaccharides and 1,3-β-D-glucan, three major effective components in A. camphorata extracts (ACE). ACE exhibited a selective cytotoxic effect on BxPC-3 human pancreatic cancer cells. ACE markedly inhibited the migration ability of BxPC-3 cells. Treatment of BxPC-3 cells with ACE resulted in the increase of cells in the sub-G1 phase and G2/M phase arrest. Apoptosis was confirmed by validating phosphatidylserine externalization, the observation of characteristic chromatin condensation, and nuclear DNA fragmentation. ACE induced apoptosis in BxPC-3 cells through a mitochondria-dependent pathway by triggering an appropriate balance of bax/bcl-2, cytochrome c release, activation of caspase-9 and -3, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. ACE shows great therapeutic potential due to its cytotoxic effects against BxPC-3 cells which include inhibiting cell migration and inducing mitochondria-mediated apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antrodia / chemistry*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cytochromes c / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry*
  • Glucans / chemistry
  • Glucans / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Glucans
  • Polysaccharides
  • Triterpenes
  • Cytochromes c