Tremella fuciformis Berk (TF) is a common edible and medicinal mushroom, and has long been used in food and in Chinese medicine. It possesses anticancer, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidative, and neuroprotective abilities. Since their cultivation is a problem, TFs in Taiwan are primarily imported from China, which has a problem with pesticide residues. Thus, the question of whether the Taiwan cultivated TFs, T1, and T6 showed similar or even better results than TFs from China (CH) was assessed in the present study. The results of the physicochemical tests of these TFs showed that T1 extracted by hot water (T1H) has the highest concentration of polysaccharide; meanwhile, T6 extracted by cold water (T6C) showed the highest amount of protein. Regarding the immune modulatory effects of these TFs, hot water extracts of these TFs augmented significantly the inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS), interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-[Formula: see text] mRNA expression than those of cold water extracts. On the other hand, the cold water extracts of TFs, especially of T1C, obviously suppressed cancer cell survival better than those of hot water extracts. Interestingly, we found that hot water extracts of TFs may augment necrotic cell death, whereas, cold water extracts of TFs induce apoptosis. Furthermore, we also showed that these TFs activate caspase-3 cleavage, up regulate the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and decrease MMP-9 expressions in PC-3 cells. Taken together, our results indicated that T1 and T6 strains of TFs showed the similar immune modulatory and anticancer abilities were better than the CH strain of TFs.
Keywords: Anticancer Activity; Bcl-2; Caspase; Immunomodulation; Tremella fuciformis.