Comparisons of the anti-tumor activity of polysaccharides from fermented mycelia and cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris in vitro

Int J Biol Macromol. 2019 Jun 1:130:307-314. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.02.155. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


A comparison of the anti-tumor activity of CMPS-II and CBPS-II polysaccharides, respectively is obtained from the fermented mycelium and cultivated fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris. This in vitro anti-tumor activity is investigated using an MTT assay, immunofluorescence staining, a Western Blot assay, a qRT-PCR assay, and Annexin V-FITC/PI double staining. The experimental results indicate that the inhibition rate of CMPS-II on H1299 tumor cells is higher than that of CBPS-II. With a concentration of 500 μ g/mL, the inhibition rate of CMPS-II and CBPS-II were 54.55% and 34.80%, respectively. Both CMPS-II and CBPS-II can increase the protein and mRNA expression level of cell apoptosis factors Caspase-3, Caspase-9, and p53, while reducing the protein and mRNA expression levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), to induce tumor cells apoptosis. The induction effect of CMPS-II was stronger than CBPS-II. These results suggest that CMPS-II is superior to CBPS-II regarding the inhibition of H1299 lung cancer cells. Furthermore, CMPS-II is a potentially useful substitution for CBPS-II in the treatment of lung cancer and provides new insights into the mechanism of its anti-tumor activity.

Keywords: Anti-tumor activity; Cordyceps militaris; Polysaccharide.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Caspase 3 / genetics
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Caspase 9 / genetics
  • Caspase 9 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cordyceps / metabolism*
  • Fermentation*
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / metabolism*
  • Fungal Polysaccharides / biosynthesis
  • Fungal Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mycelium / metabolism*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / genetics
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Fungal Polysaccharides
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 9