European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 244, Issue 5, pp 861–871 | Cite as

Screening of mushrooms bioactivity: piceatannol was identified as a bioactive ingredient in the order Cantharellales

  • Efstathios P. Vasdekis
  • Athanassios Karkabounas
  • Ioannis Giannakopoulos
  • Dimitrios Savvas
  • Marilena E. Lekka
Original Paper


Wild edible mushroom species are appreciated for consumption due to their high nutritional value. The aim of the present study was to examine in vitro beneficial bioactivity of mushroom extracts and to investigate the molecular identity of the active ingredients. In this regard, methanol extracts of 29 different wild edible mushroom species, that are traditionally consumed by residents in the National Park of North Pindos in North-Western Greece, were examined for antioxidant, antiproliferative, cytotoxic, and pro-apoptotic activities towards a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549 by the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay and by flow cytometry. Certain mushroom species exhibited high antioxidant activity, which was related to their high content in total phenols and flavonoids. Methanol extracts of Cantharellus cibarius, Cantharellus cinereus, Craterellus cornucopioides and Hydnum repandum, which belong to the order Cantharellales, exhibited high cytotoxicity and induced apoptosis–necrosis to A549 cells. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with Mass Spectrometry analysis revealed as an active ingredient piceatannol ((E)-4-[2-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)ethenyl]1,2-benzenediol-3,3′,4,5′-tetrahydroxy-trans-stilbene). Piceatannol, according to our best knowledge, is identified for the first time in wild edible mushrooms. Experiments with authentic piceatannol confirmed the potent antiproliferative activity of this compound. Tested mushrooms are promising sources of bioactive compounds.


Mushrooms Cantharellales Antiproliferative activity Cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic activities Piceatannol 



The authors would like to thank the Unit of Environmental, Organic and Biochemical high-resolution analysis-ORBITRAP-LC–MS of the University of Ioannina for providing access to the facilities. The authors would like to thank the Unit for technical infrastructure, characterization and testing of bioactive substances of the University of Ioannina for providing access to the facilities. The authors would like to thank the OPENSCREEN-GR network for providing access to the facilities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of BiochemistryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Vegetable CropsAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece

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