Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 453–468 | Cite as

Medicinal mushroom modulators of molecular targets as cancer therapeutics

  • Ben-Zion Zaidman
  • Majed Yassin
  • Jamal MahajnaEmail author
  • Solomon P. Wasser


Empirical approaches to discover anticancer drugs and cancer treatments have made limited progress in the past several decades in finding a cure for cancer. The expanded knowledge of the molecular basis of tumorigenesis and metastasis, together with the inherently vast structural diversity of natural compounds found in mushrooms, provided unique opportunities for discovering new drugs that rationally target the abnormal molecular and biochemical signals leading to cancer. This review focuses on mushroom low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites targeting processes such as apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, cell cycle regulation, and signal transduction cascades. Also discussed in this review are high-molecular-weight polysaccharides or polysaccharide–protein complexes from mushrooms that appear to enhance innate and cell-mediated immune responses, exhibit antitumor activities in animals and humans, and demonstrate the anticancer properties of selenium compounds accumulated in mushrooms.


Genistein Ergosterol Gliotoxin Ganoderma Lucidum Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Acknowledgements We thank Prof. N. Ohno (Japan) for critical reading of the manuscript, and R. Permut for English editing. This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel, grant No. 3-0561.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben-Zion Zaidman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Majed Yassin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jamal Mahajna
    • 2
    Email author
  • Solomon P. Wasser
    • 1
  1. 1.Biodiversity and Biotechnology Center of Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi, The Institute of EvolutionUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Migal–Galilee Technology CenterKiryat ShmonaIsrael

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