With technology, comes great power. Genetic analysis has opened many new frontiers for us in health and medicine, but interestingly, they are also confirming over 2000 years of traditional medicine.
A unique mushroom, Grifola frondosa, also known as Maitake mushroom (舞茸), has been used for over 2000 years in China and Japan. It is also called "Hen of the Woods" as well as "Dancing Mushroom" in Japan as finding it equaled its weight in silver at the time. This is also one of our key extracts in our Infinimin® Immunity Multivitamin.
It is already known that the Maitake (D-Fraction) mushroom is involved in stimulating the immune system and activating certain cells that attack cancer, including macrophages, T-cells, and natural killer cells. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, polysaccharide complexes present in Maitake mushrooms appear to have significant anticancer activity.
However, the exact molecular mechanism of the Maitake antitumoral effect is still unclear. It has been shown that Maitake (D-Fraction) induces apoptosis (cell death) in breast cancer cells by activation of BCL2-antagonist/killer 1 (BAK1) gene expression. At the present work, we are identifying which genes are responsible for the suppression of the tumoral phenotype mechanism induced by Maitake (D-Fraction) in breast cancer cells.
Human breast cancer MCF-7 cells were treated with and without increased concentrations of Maitake D-Fraction (36, 91, 183, 367 μg/mL) for 24 h. Total RNA were isolated and cDNA microarrays were hybridized containing 25,000 human genes. Employing the cDNA microarray analysis, we found that Maitake D-Fraction modified the expression of 4068 genes (2420 were upmodulated and 1648 were downmodulated) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner during 24 h of treatment.
The present data shows that Maitake D-Fraction suppresses the breast tumoral phenotype through a putative molecular mechanism modifying the expression of certain genes (such as IGFBP-7, ITGA2, ICAM3, SOD2, CAV-1, Cul-3, NRF2, Cycline E,ST7, and SPARC) that are involved in apoptosis stimulation, inhibition of cell growth and proliferation, cell cycle arrest, blocking migration and metastasis of tumoral cells, and inducing multidrug sensitivity. Altogether, these results suggest that Maitake D-Fraction could be a potential new target for breast cancer chemoprevention and treatment.
1. Alonso, Eliana Noelia et al. “Genes Related to Suppression of Malignant Phenotype Induced by Maitake D-Fraction in Breast Cancer Cells.” Journal of Medicinal Food 16.7 (2013): 602–617. PMC. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
2. Deng G., Lim H., Seidman A., Fornier M., D'Andrea G., Wesa K., Yeung, S., Cunningham-Rundles, S., Vickers, AJ, Cassileth, B. 2009. "A phase I/II trial of a polysaccharide extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom) in breast cancer patients: immunological effects. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 135:1215-1221.
3. Patel, S., Goyal, A. 2012. "Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review." 3 Biotech (2012) 2:1-15. DOI 10.1007/s13205-011-0036-2. Preuss, H., Echard, B., Bagchi, D., Perricone, N.V., Zhuang, C. 2007. "Enhanced insulin-hypoglycemic activity in rats consuming a specific glycoprotein extracted from maitake mushroom." Mol Cell Biochem (2007) 306:105-113. DOI 10.1007/s11010-007-9559-6.