L-Ergothioneine: A Potential Bioactive Compound from Edible Mushrooms

  • Saraswathy NachimuthuEmail author
  • Ruckmani Kandasamy
  • Ramalingam Ponnusamy
  • Jack Deruiter
  • Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran
  • Sivasudha Thilagar


Edible mushrooms possess health-promoting bioactive compounds and are used throughout the world for their extensive medicinal properties. One of the unique bioactive compounds found in mushrooms is the water-soluble thiol-containing antioxidant amino acid, L-ergothioneine (LE). It is a stable antioxidant molecule and does not degrade at high temperature and high pH. L-Ergothioneine is not synthesized by plants and animals, including human. Therefore, LE is obtained through dietary sources, mainly from edible mushrooms such as Agaricus bisporus, Lentinula edodes, Pleurotus ostreatus and Grifola frondosa. These mushroom species have been reported to have a high LE content in them. LE is considered as a molecule for longevity and referred to as longevity vitamin. In this chapter, we have described the sources, the cytoprotective mechanisms, and therapeutic potential of LE.


Anti-inflammatory Antioxidant Cytoprotectant Health supplement L-Ergothioneine 



Amphiphilic solute facilitator


Antioxidant response elements


Ergothioneine disulfide


European Food Safety Authority




Ergothioneine transporter


Food and Drug Administration


Generally recognized as safe




Hyaluronic acid


High-performance liquid chromatography


Hydrophilic interaction chromatography


Hypobromous acid






Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry




Matrix metalloproteinase 1




Neurodegenerative diseases


Organic cation transporter


Pyridoxal 5-phosphate


Reactive oxygen species


Reactive nitrogen species


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction




Tumor necrosis factor alpha




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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saraswathy Nachimuthu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ruckmani Kandasamy
    • 2
  • Ramalingam Ponnusamy
    • 1
  • Jack Deruiter
    • 3
  • Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran
    • 3
  • Sivasudha Thilagar
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyKumaraguru College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University College of Engineering, Bharathidasan Institute of Technology CampusAnna UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of PharmacyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Biotechnology, School of Environmental SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia

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