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 G(1) phase. Moreover, reduction of mitochondria membrane potential (Delta psi(m)) and release of cytochrome c 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., Zhao, 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 Sci, 80(3), 205-211. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2006.09.001