Comparison of antioxidant and antiproliferation activities of polysaccharides from eight species of medicinal mushrooms

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(3):287-95. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i3.80.


Polysaccharides from mushrooms including Pleurotus eryngii, P. ostreatus, P. nebrodensis, Lentinus edodes, Hypsizygus marmoreus, Flammulina velutipes, Ganoderma lucidum, and Hericium erinaceus were isolated by water extraction and alcohol precipitation. Our results suggest that all tested polysaccharides have the significant antioxidant capacities of scavenging free radicals (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and hydroxyl radicals). Among them, the H. erinaceus polysaccharide exhibits the highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging activity, whereas the L. edodes polysaccharide shows the strongest scavenging ability for hydroxyl radicals. Furthermore, using the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line and HeLa cells, all 8 selected polysaccharides are able to inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells, but the strength of inhibition varied depending on the mushroom species and the concentration used. Notably, G. lucidum polysaccharide shows the highest inhibition activity on MCF-7 cells. By comparison, H. erinaceus polysaccharide has the strongest inhibitory effect on HeLa cells. Moreover, high-performance liquid chromatography with a carbohydrate analysis column showed significant differences in polysaccharide components among these mushrooms. Thus our data suggest that the different species of mushrooms have the variable functions because of their own specific polysaccharide components. The 8 mushroom polysaccharides have the potential to be used as valuable functional food additives or sources of therapeutic agents for antioxidant and cancer treatments, especially polysaccharides from H. erinaceus, L. edodes, and G. lucidum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Agaricales / classification
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Growth Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides