Protein-Bound β-glucan from Coriolus Versicolor has Potential for Use Against Obesity

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Apr;63(7):e1801231. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201801231. Epub 2019 Feb 1.


Scope: The prevalence of obesity and related disorders has vastly increased throughout the world and prevention of such circumstances thus represents a major challenge. Here, it has been shown that one protein-bound β-glucan (PBG) from the edible mushroom Coriolus versicolor can be a potent anti-obesity component.

Methods and results: PBG can reduce obesity and metabolic inflammation in mice fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). Gut microbiota analysis reveals that PBG markedly increases the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, although it does not rescue HFD-induced change in the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. It appears that PBG alters host physiology and creates an intestinal microenvironment favorable for A. muciniphila colonization. Fecal transplants from PBG-treated animals in part reduce obesity in recipient HFD-fed mice. Further, PBG is shown to upregulate expression of a set of genes related to host metabolism in microbiota-depleted mice.

Conclusion: The data highlight that PBG may exert its anti-obesity effects through a mirobiota-dependent (richness of specific microbiota) and -independent (modulation of host metabolism) manner. The fact that C. versicolor PBGs are approved oral immune boosters in cancers and chronic hepatitis with well-established safety profiles may accelerate PBG as a novel use for obesity treatment.

Keywords: Akkermansia muciniphila; Coriolus versicolor; gut microbiota; obesity; protein-bound β-glucan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Verrucomicrobia / drug effects
  • beta-Glucans / chemistry*
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Fungal Proteins
  • beta-Glucans