Bioactive Molecules in Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms for Human Wellness

  • Chia-Wei Phan
  • Elson Yi-Yong Tan
  • Vikineswary Sabaratnam
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

Mushrooms are now gaining popularity not only as an ordinary culinary ingredient, but as a healthy and whole functional food. This chapter describes three major categories of bioactive molecules found in edible and medicinal mushrooms. First is the mushroom’s polysaccharide which is widely accepted as a superior immune-modulatory agent. The mushroom β-glucans differ from the bacterial and plant glucans. Mushroom β-glucans consist of linear β-(1→3)-linked backbones with β-(1→6)-linked side chains of varying length and distribution. Several important β-glucans like lentinan, schizophyllan, grifolan, as well as polysaccharide krestin (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide, will be discussed. Next, the triterpenes family, which are highly conserved in Ganoderma species, will be elaborated further in this chapter. Finally, the indole alkaloids, which are important in mushroom as pigmentation inducer and hallucinogens, will be briefly discussed with emphasis on the psilocin and its derivatives. Other pharmacologically important mushroom-derived alkaloids will also be included. Overall, the potential to develop mushrooms as nutraceutical foods for human wellness, and their bioactive molecules for drugs, is huge.

Keywords

Mushroom Polysaccharide Glucans Triterpenes Alkaloid Indole 

1 Introduction

Mushrooms are not only valued as a food source but also their long history of beliefs in curative abilities both from the western and oriental traditional medicine systems. What are mushrooms? Mushrooms are the macrofungi with distinctive fruiting bodies commonly occurring in fungi of the class Basidiomycetes and occasionally in the class Ascomycetes [1, 2]. Fruiting bodies are also used interchangeably with basidiocarps (the sexual fruiting body of Basidiomycetes) or ascocarps (the sexual fruiting body of Ascomycetes) [3]. Interestingly, even though the Basidiomycetes demonstrate a wide variety of fruiting body shape, the Ascomycete species still outnumbered the Basidiomycetes [4]. An overview of the mushroom species and the basic terminology used for a typical Basidiomycete mushroom is presented in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1

A pie chart illustrates the number of species of the class Basiciomycetes (left) and the common term to describe the parts of a typical mushroom of Basidiomycete class (right)

In terms of food, mushroom consumption is considered popular in six countries known as the G-6 (USA, Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Canada) [5]. The six countries make up to 85% of the world consumption of mushroom. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the main exporters of fresh mushrooms in 2012 are Poland, Netherlands, China, Ireland, and Canada. The main importers of fresh mushrooms in the world are the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France, and USA. To date, China is still the main producer of mushrooms in the world, producing 5.15 million tons of fresh and processed products yearly.

Indeed, there are many other important roles that mushrooms play in the world. Their expediency to man as food, as tonics and medicines, and also in the bioconversion of waste organic materials are all of great benefit to both man and nature [6]. Phan and Sabaratnam [7] have recently reviewed that the spent mushroom substrate can serve as a reservoir to recover important lignocellulosic enzymes like laccase , xylanase, lignin peroxidise, cellulose, and hemicellulase. In recent years, mushrooms are also known as “mycoremediation tools” because of their use in remediation of different types of pollutants [8, 9].

Mushrooms are now popular for their medicinal properties. There is also a fast mounting volume of in vitro and in vivo animal trials describing a range of medicinal and health promoting properties of mushrooms, including antitumor, anticancer, brain and cognitive function, immunomodulatory, and antiobesity [10]. However, as emphasized by Roupas et al. [11], there are still inadequate direct human intervention trials of the edible and medicinal mushrooms. Figure 2 shows the six most widely investigated edible and medicinal mushrooms [ Ganoderma lucidum (Fr) P. Karst, Cordyceps militaris (L.:Fr.) Link, Inonotus obliquus (Ach. ex Pers.) Pilát, Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler, Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, and f: Grifola frondosa (Dicks.: Fr.)] to fight cancer. The most recent research findings of the six mushrooms on antitumor and anticancer are stipulated in Table 1 [12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27].
Fig. 2

The six most researched edible and medicinal mushrooms in the field of cancer therapy and oncology according to Scopus. a: Ganoderma lucidum (Fr) P. Karst, b: Cordyceps militaris (L.:Fr.) Link, c: Inonotus obliquus (Ach. ex Pers.) Pilát, d: Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler, e: Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, and f: Grifola frondosa (Dicks.: Fr.). All photos and names are retrieved from mycobank.com. All the mushrooms are of Basidiomycetes class, except for C. militaris (Ascomycete). Note the variety of shapes and colors of the basidiocarps

Table 1

The six mushroom species which are highly researched on their antitumor/anticancer activities. The most recent literature on the antitumor/anticancer properties of these mushrooms is included along with this table.

Mushrooms

Common name

Compound

Description

References

Ganoderma lucidum

Lingzhi, reishi

Ergosterol

Effectively inhibited tumor growth in Hepa1-6-bearing C57 BL/6 mice

[12]

Genistein

Kaempferol

Ganoderic acid A

Ganoderic acid B

Ganoderic acid C2

Ganoderic acid D

Ganoderic acid H

Ganoderic acid Y

Ganoderenic acid A

Ganoderenic acid D

Ganoderenic acid G

Polysaccharides

The mushroom polysaccharides enhanced the radiosensitivity of hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 through Akt signaling pathway

[13]

Triterpenes

Inhibited the proliferation of human prostate cancer cells and induced apoptosis

[14]

Polysaccharides

Inhibited prostate cancer cell migration

[15]

Cordyceps militaris

Dongchongxiacao, caterpillar mushroom, winter caterpillar summer grass

Cordycepin

Inhibited malignant transformation, increased cell apoptosis, and decreased cell mitosis in a murine oral cancer model

[16]

Cordycepin

Induced apoptotic cell death of human brain cancer

[17]

Inonotus obliquus

Chaga mushroom, black tree fungus

Polysaccharides

Inhibited NF-κB nuclear translocation in human nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC)

[18]

Lanostane-type triterpene (inonotusanes D)

Exhibited strong cytotoxicity against the 4T1 (mouse breast cancer) cell line

[19]

Lentinula edodes

Shiitake

Polysaccharides

Exhibited inhibition of cell proliferation on HCT-116 and HeLa cells

[20]

Acid heteropolysaccharides

Showed inhibition against A549 human lung cancer cells, SGC7901 gastric cancer cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells, U937 histiocytic lymphoma cells, and MG-63 human osteosarcoma cells

[21]

Selenium-containing polysaccharides

Cytotoxic against PC3 and HeLa cancer cells

[22]

Grifola frondosa

Yunzhi, maitake mushroom, hen of the woods

D-fraction polysaccharide

Showed synergistic effects with vitamin C against SMMC-7721 hepatocarcinoma cells

[23]

D-fraction polysaccharide

Modulated mammary tumor progression

[24]

Polysaccharide

Enhanced immunostimulatory activity

[25]

Trametes versicolor

Turkey tail

Extracts combined with metronomic zoledronic acid

Attenuated breast tumor propagation

[26]

Glucan

Exhibited antitumor activity on Sarcoma-180 cells

[27]

In this chapter, we describe and emphasize on the highly sought after bioactive compounds (polysaccharides, triterpenes, and alkaloids) isolated from mushrooms. We also report on the recent advances in our understanding of these mushroom-derived compounds as well as their mode of actions.

2 Abundance of Nutraceuticals in Mushrooms

2.1 Polysaccharides

Bioactive polysaccharides are abundantly found in plants, yeast, bacteria, and fungi. In mushrooms, they exist in the form of α- and β-glucans [28]. Notably, each type of β-glucan comprises a different molecular backbone. They differ among bacterial, cereal, oat, yeast, and fungal glucans. The structural diversity of mushroom β-glucans has been reviewed recently [29]. Essentially, mushroom β-glucans consist of linear β-(1→3)-linked backbones with β-(1→6)-linked side chains of varying length and distribution [30, 31]. They can form tertiary structures stabilized by interchain hydrogen bonds. Some variations include 1→4 linkages, α-glucan moieties, protein complex, and alternate sugars [32]. Figure 3 shows the structure of a fungal (mushroom) β-glucan.
Fig. 3

Mushroom β-glucans consisting of linear β-(1→3)-linked backbones with β-(1→6)-linked side chains

The involvement and importance of polysaccharides in tumor and cancer treatment were first recognized more than 100 years ago when it was found that certain polysaccharides could induce complete remission in patients with cancer. Ever since antitumor activity of macrofungal polysaccharides was first published by Chihara in the 1960s [33], researchers have isolated structural diversified polysaccharides with strong antitumor activity [34]. Unlike traditional antitumor drugs, these substances produce an antitumor effect by activating various immune responses in the host and cause no harm to the body [35].

Carrying out an extensive study in 1966, Gregory isolated the active substances from fruiting bodies of more than 200 Basidiomycetes mushroom species [36]. The polysaccharides isolated from 22 mushroom species and 50 culture media displayed an inhibitory effect on tumor cells, including Sarcoma S-180, adenocarcinoma 755, and leukemia L-1210 [36, 37]. Bioactive polysaccharides can be isolated from mycelium , the fruiting body, and sclerotium , which represent three different forms of a macrofungi in the life cycle [38, 39].

The most famous and most-talk-about polysaccharides isolated from mushrooms are the lentinan derived from L. edodes, tremellan from Tremella fuciformis Berk., polysaccharide krestin (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide from T. versicolor, ganoderan from G. lucidum, schizophyllan from Schizophyllum commune Fr., grifolan from G. frondosa, and pleuran from Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.) P. Kumm [40] (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4

The different names of bioactive β-glucan found in their respective mushroom origins. (a) L. edodes, (b) T. fuciformis, (c) T. versicolor, (d) G. lucidum, (e) S. commune, (f) G. frondosa, (g) P. ostreatus. All photos and names are retrieved from mycobank.com.

Most recently, Ahn et al. [41] studied the effects of lentinan from L. edodes on mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages with and without inflammasome triggers. Lentinan was found to upregulate pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, or caspase-1. However, lentinan was found to attenuate IL-1β secretion when the macrophages were treated with bacteria Listeria monocytogenes or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This clearly shows that lentinan, a bioactive polysaccharide, can act as a “double edge sword.” It increases the pro-inflammatory cytokines to initiate immune response when infection commences, and on the other hand, exerts anti-inflammation when an infection persists.

Interestingly, Zhang et al. [42] reported on the combinational effects of oral polysaccharides like lentinan and tremellan on mice which were immunized with inactivated H1N1 influenza vaccine. The results showed that mice in the polysaccharides with vaccine groups had improved viral clearance. The immunized rat which were fed with lentinan and tremella recovered faster than the mice receiving only the vaccine after infection.

Some polysaccharides isolated from mushroom might possess an acidic or a neutral characteristic due to different types of glycosidic linkages. Some are bound to protein or peptide residues such as polysaccharide-protein/-peptide complexes. One example is the protein-bound polysaccharide K (PSK) from T. versicolor. PSK is very popular among the patients with gastrointestinal cancer (GIC) and they consume it with or without chemotherapy [43, 44]. Most recently, a network meta-analysis revealed that PSK combined with chemotherapy can increase the patient overall survival by 3–5 years [45]. Another meta-analysis and systematic review study also showed that PSK can extend survival in lung cancer patients [46]. As exemplified by PSK, in addition to the primary structure, a higher structure of polysaccharides, such as chain conformation, plays an important role in their antitumor activities.

Ganoderan represents an immunomodulatory polysaccharide from G. lucidium. It is an antioxidant polysaccharide that was shown to prevent and control cerebral arteriosclerosis by regulating the NADPH oxidizing enzyme expression [47]. It was also shown to exert protective effects in rats with chronic glomerulonephritis [48]. On the other hand, pleuran, which was extracted from P. ostreatus, was first reported to be formulated as a β-glucan-based cream. The pleuran-based cream was found to be effective in mild to severe atopic dermatitis [49]. In fact, β-glucan-rich P. ostreatus was found to be a functional food as it demonstrated hypoglycemic effect in diabetic mice, and it is capable of improving hyperlipidemia in obese mice [50, 51].

According to Zhang et al. [52], schizophyllan is a nonionic, water-soluble homoglucan which possesses a β-(1→3)-linked backbone with single β-(1→6)-linked glucose side chains at approximately every third residue. Schizophyllan is probably one of the oldest β-glucan discovered from mushroom. Since the mushroom Schizophyllum commune is an efficient wood-degrading fungus, it can directly utilize woody substances like corn fibers for the production of schizophyllan [53, 54]. Besides serving as a potential prebiotic with immunomodulating properties [55], schizophyllan is now being developed for bulk biomaterial applications, such as in enhanced oil recovery and as a component of bio-lubricants [56, 57, 58].

Grifolan is a branched β-(1→3) glucan extracted from G. frondosa [59]. The proposed mechanism by which grifolan exerts antitumor effect includes first the enhancement of immunity against the bearing tumors and secondly, a direct antitumor activity to induce the apoptosis of the tumor cells [60]. Grifolan also can be used for the prevention of the oncogenesis by oral administration (cancer-preventing activity). D-fraction , on the other hand, is a protein-bound β-1,6 and β-1,3 glucan (proteoglucan) extracted from G. frondosa. D-fraction was reported for the first time in 2017 with the ability to act directly on mammary tumor cells [24].

Overall, mushroom polysaccharides exert their bioactivity mainly via immunomodulation [61]. They help the host to adapt to various biological stresses and exert a nonspecific action on the host, supporting some or all of the major systems. Most importantly, mushroom polysaccharides are nontoxic and place no additional stress on the body. Therefore, they are regarded as “biological response modifiers” with the potential as prebiotic to safeguard our gut microbiome [62].

2.2 Triterpenoids

Triterpenes are highly oxidized lanostanes . Triterpenes are widely reported in Ganoderma species. Zhou et al. [63] had reviewed that triterpene is one of the main components responsible for the claimed therapeutic efficacy of Ganoderma. In fact, the potential of Ganoderma triterpenoids against various cancer targets had been well documented [64].

Triterpenes reported in Ganoderma lucidium include but not limited to ganoderic acid A (1), C (2), F (3), U (4), V (5), W (6), X (7), Y (8), lucidimol A (9), B (10), ganoderiol F (11), ganodermanondiol (12), and ganodermanontriol (13) [65, 66, 67, 68]. Ganoderiol F and ganodermanontriol were found to be active as anti-HIV-1 agents [69]. Ganoderic acid is a member of highly oxygenated C30 lanostane-type triterpenoids. Ganoderic acids and their derivatives are reported to modulate the signaling network in cancer signaling pathways, and they primarily target nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), 3′,5 ′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma mitogen activated protein kinases (RAS-MAPK), phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR), and cell cycle resulting in apoptosis [70]. Figure 5 shows the chemical structures of triterpenoids (1–13) from G. lucidum.
Fig. 5

Different types of ganoderic acids and derivatives isolated from G. lucidum

Although ganoderic acids are popular for their anticancer properties, their beneficial effects on the nervous system are widely pursued by researchers. The triterpenoids isolated from G. lucidum, namely, ganoderic acid A (1), 7-oxo-ganoderic acid Z (14), ganolucidic acid A (15), methyl ganoderic acid A (16), methyl ganoderic acid B (17), ganoderic acid S1 (18), ganodermic acid TQ (19), and ganodermatriol (20), have shown NGF- and BDNF-like neuronal survival-promoting effects [71], as well as neuroprotection activity [72]. Figure 6 shows the chemical structures of triterpenoids (1420) from G. lucidum.
Fig. 6

Neuroactive triterpenoids (1420) isolated from G. lucidum

Besides G. lucidium, G. tsugae Murrill [73], G. concinna [74], and G. pfeifferi Bres. [75] were also reported to produce new lanostane-type triterpenoids. Tsugaric acid C (21), tsugarioside B (22), and tsugarioside C (23) from G. tsugae were found to be effective against human hepatoma cells [73]. Besides that, three new lanostanoids, i.e., 5α-lanosta-7,9(11),24-triene-3β-hydroxy-26-al (24), 5α-lanosta-7,9(11),24-triene-15α-26-dihydroxy-3-one (25), and 8α,9α-epoxy-4,4,14α-trimethyl-3,7,11,15,20-pentaoxo-5α-pregnane (26), were isolated from G. concinna [76]. All the three compounds were found to induce apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. In 2003, Mothana et al. [75] discovered three new antiviral lanostanoid triterpenes from G. pfeifferi , namely ganodermadiol (27), lucidadiol (28), and applanoxidic acid G (29), all of which showed antiviral activity against influenza virus type A and HSV type 1. Figure 7 shows the chemical structures of different Ganoderma-derived triterpenoids (2129) from G. tsugae, G. concinna, and G. pfeifferi.
Fig. 7

Triterpenoids (2129) from G. tsugae, G. concinna, and G. pfeifferi

Ganoderma colossum (= Tomophagus colossus (Fr.) Murrill), found in Vietnam, was reported to possess anti-HIV-1 protease activity [76, 77, 78]. El Dine et al. [76] have reported the isolation of four new lanostane triterpenes, namely, colossolactone V (30), colossolactone VI (31), colossolactone VII (32), and colossolactone VIII (33) (Fig. 8), from the Vietnamese mushroom. Furthermore, nortriterpenoids , a derivation of lanostane-type triterpenoids due to degradation of side chains, have also been found in G. resinaceum Boud [79]. In the study of Chen et al. [79], six new nortriterpenoids (3439) (Fig. 8) were separated and purified from the basidiocarps of G. resinaceum. The new compounds were identified as lucidone I (34), lucidone J (35), lucidone K (36), lucidone I (37), ganosineniol B (38), and ganosineniol C (39), based on high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR), and ultraviolet (UV). However, only compounds 34, 35, 38, and 39 showed a significant α-glucosidase inhibitory activity.
Fig. 8

Colossolactones (3033) from G. colossum and nortriterpenoids (3439) from G. resinaceum

There are several research groups that reported the presence of rare triterpenes in mushrooms such as Piptoporus betulinus (= Fomitopsis betulina ) [80]. Annual white to brownish basidiocarps of the “Iceman” mushroom F. betulina can be found on trees in the northern hemisphere [81]. Several experiments had revealed that the extracts of F. betulina showed potential cytotoxic activities against several human cancer cell lines [82, 83, 84]. Lately, Tohtahon et al. [80] described the isolation and identification of five new lanostane triterpenoids, namely, piptolinic acids A-E (4044) (Fig. 9). The authors also described their cytotoxicity effects against HL-60 and THP-1 human leukemia cell lines.
Fig. 9

Piptolinic acids isolated from the “iceman” mushroom, F. betulina. Mushroom picture retrieved from mushroomexpert.com

Astraeus odoratus Phosri, the earth-star mushroom, is popular as food in Thailand despite its strange looking star-shaped figure [85]. The mushroom is expensive due to the limitation of natural occurrence and the difficulty of artificial cultivation. Isaka et al. [86] reported the isolation of twelve new lanostane triterpenoids, astraeusins A–L (4556) (Fig. 10) from the methanol extracts of A. odoratus. All the compounds, except for astraeusin F due to sample shortage, were subjected to antibacterial activities against Bacillus cereus and Enterococcus faecium. Astraodoric acid A (57) (Fig. 10) inhibited the proliferation of both B. cereus and E. faecium with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 6.25 μg/mL.
Fig. 10

Astraeusins A–L (4556), astraodoric acids A, E, and F (57, 59, 60), and spiro-astraodoric acid (58) isolated from Astraeus odoratus. Mushroom picture retrieved from mushroomexpert.com

Srisurichan et a. [87] also reported three new lanostane-type triterpenoids which exhibited a varying degree of cytotoxicity against human cancer cells depending on the different side chains they contain. The triterpenoids were named as spiro-astraodoric acid (58) and astraodoric acids E (59) and F (60) (Fig. 10). Interestingly, compound 58 possesses a spirocyclic lanostane triterpenoid structure (Fig. 9). The authors suggested that the presence of an acetoxy group on a lanostane side chain increased the cytotoxicity of the lanostane triterpenoids.

2.3 Alkaloids

Alkaloids are nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds. Till now, fungal alkaloids are mostly known because of their toxicological relevance [88]. Perhaps the most widely known mushroom alkaloids are the hallucinogenic indole derivatives which encompass psilocin (61) and psilocybin (62), found in “magic mushrooms. ” In fact, determination of psilocin and psilocybin (Fig. 11) is an important task of forensic analysis and researchers often used HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) for quantification.
Fig. 11

The chemical structures of psilocin (61), psilocybin (62), and norpsilocin (63)

Homer and Sperry [89] have recently reviewed on the isolation of mushroom-derived indole alkaloids, along with their associated biological activities. The alkaloid compounds can be found in different quantities based on mushroom species, their developmental stages, climatic conditions, and the availability of soluble nitrogen and phosphorous in the soil [90].

Psilocin (61), an indole alkaloid found in the genus Psilocybe, is considered a natural monophenol which exhibit various properties including toxicity, and even antioxidant and therapeutic action [91]. It demonstrates bioactivity similar to other psychoactive tryptamines by inducing psychoactive effects like alternation of mood, ease of anxiety, and relief of depression [92]. Its mode of action is believed to occur through serotonin, a monoamine that regulates numerous physiological responses including those in the central nervous system [93, 94]. Most recently, Lenz et al. [95] reported the identification of ω-N-methyl-4-hydroxytryptamine (norpsilocin , 63) (Fig. 11) from the carpophores of Psilocybe cubensis (Earle) Singer. Interestingly, norpsilocin has not been previously reported as a natural product. According to the authors, it is probably liberated from its 4-phosphate ester derivative, which is a known natural product baeocystin. However, no bioactivity was reported for norpsilocin yet.

A recent clinical trial has shown that psilocybin exerts a pharmacological action against depression with no serious or unexpected adverse events in the patients on trial [96]. Subsequently, the authors reported on the possible mechanisms of the post-treatment brain effects of psilocybin and found out that decreased amygdala cerebral blood flow is likened with reduced depressive symptoms [97].

Overall, mushroom-derived indole alkaloids are generally screened from a variety of extracts, which are then found to exert some sort of beneficial bioactivity in vitro. Some of the examples include L-tryptophan (64), which serves as a source of essential amino acid in human diet (Fig. 12). Other examples include corralocin B (65) and C (66) (Fig. 12), two indole alkaloids identified from the coral-alike lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium coralloides (Scop.) Pers.[98]. The compounds were found to stimulate neurotrophin expression in human 1321N1 astrocytes. Corralocin B was reported to show antiproliferative activity against human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human cancer cell lines MCF-7 and KB-3-1.
Fig. 12

The chemical structures of alkaloids (6470) from mushrooms

The basidiocarps of an nonedible but medicinal “bitter cap” mushroom, Cortinarius infractus (Pers.) Fr., also contained infractopicrin (67) and 10-hydroxyinfractopicrin (68) (Fig. 12) [99]. The acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting activity of these compounds was comparable to that of galantamine, a drug used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease . Notably, the alkaloids present in C. infractus are responsible for the distinctive “bitterness” of this mushroom species [100, 101].

Boletus curtisii Berk., an edible mushroom which is yellow when young and turns brown when old, produces an interesting collection of sulfur-containing β-carboline derivatives, one of which is canthin-6-one (69) (Fig. 12) [102]. This indole alkaloid which is responsible for the bright yellow pigmentation is also found in a variety of higher plants and possesses cytotoxic properties against leukemic cells [103]. Other alkaloids from edible mushroom also include echinulin (70), a triprenylated tryptophan-based diketopiperazine from an aromatic mushroom, Lentinus strigellus Berk [104, 105].

3 Conclusion

The study of mushrooms is growing in popularity because of their attributed health benefits. The aforementioned bioactive molecules found in mushrooms, i.e., polysaccharides, glucans, triterpenes, and alkaloids, contribute greatly to their curative properties like anticancer, anti-inflammatory , antivirus, and even anti-Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, edible and medicinal mushroom has huge demand as “whole functional food,” as well as developed as a healthcare product. Overall, the mechanisms of action of the bioactive compounds, which were discussed in this chapter, still elude scientific inquiry and scientists are still working towards unraveling the biochemical pathways leading to the curative effects.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the support of this work by the University of Malaya BKP grant (BK011-2017). This work was also supported by the University of Malaya High Impact Research MoE Grants, namely UM.C/625/1/HIR/MoE/SC/02 and UM.C/625/1/HIR/MOHE/ASH/01(H-23001-G000008).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chia-Wei Phan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elson Yi-Yong Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vikineswary Sabaratnam
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Mushroom Research CentreUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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