Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells
In spite of the global consumption of mushrooms, only two epidemiological studies demonstrated an inverse correlation between mushroom intake and the risk of cancer. Therefore, in the present study we evaluated whether extracts from edible mushrooms Agaricus bisporus (portabella), Flammulina velutipes(enoki), Lentinula edodes (shiitake) and Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster) affect the growth of breast and colon cancer cells. Here, we identified as the most potent, P. ostreatus (oyster mushroom) which suppressed proliferation of breast cancer (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231) and colon cancer (HT-29, HCT-116) cells, without affecting proliferation of epithelial mammary MCF-10A and normal colon FHC cells. Flow cytometry revealed that the inhibition of cell proliferation by P. ostreatus was associated with the cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase in MCF-7 and HT-29 cells. Moreover, P. ostreatus induced the expression of the tumor suppressor p53 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(CIP1/WAF1), whereas inhibited the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma Rb protein in MCF-7 cells. In addition, P. ostreatus also up-regulated expression of p21 and inhibited Rb phosphorylation in HT-29 cells, suggesting that that P. ostreatussuppresses the proliferation of breast and colon cancer cells via p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway. In conclusion, our results indicated that the edible oyster mushroom has potential therapeutic/preventive effects on breast and colon cancer.