ABSTRACT: Ganoderma lucidum is a well-known traditional Chinese medicinal herb containing many bioactive compounds. Ganoderic acid T (GA-T), which is a lanostane triterpenoid purified from methanol extract of G. lucidum mycelia, was found to exert cytotoxicity on various human carcinoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, while it was less toxic to normal human cell lines. Animal experiments in vivo also showed that GA-T suppressed the growth of human solid tumor in athymic mice. It markedly inhibited the proliferation of a highly metastatic lung cancer cell line (95-D) by apoptosis induction and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. Moreover, reduction of mitochondria membrane potential (Δψm) and release of cytochrome were observed during the induced apoptosis. Our data further indicate that the expression of proteins p53 and Bax in 95-D cells was increased in a time-dependent manner, whereas the expression of Bcl-2 was not significantly changed; thus the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax was decreased. The results show that the apoptosis induction of GA-T was mediated by mitochondrial dysfunctions. Furthermore, stimulation of the activity of caspase-3 but not caspase-8 was observed during apoptosis. The experiments using inhibitors of caspases (Z-VAD-FMK, Z-DEVD-FMK and Z-IETD-FMK) confirmed that caspase-3 was involved in the apoptosis. All our findings demonstrate that GA-T induced apoptosis of metastatic lung tumor cells through intrinsic pathway related to mitochondrial dysfunction and p53 expression, and it may be a potentially useful chemotherapeutic agent.
Tang, W., Liu, J.-W., Zha, W.-M., Wei, D.-Z., Zhong, J.J. 2006 “Ganoderic acid T from Ganoderma lucidum mycelia induces mitochondria mediated apoptosis in lung cancer cells.” Life Sciences. 80:205–211.