Androgen receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms mediate Ganoderma lucidum activities in LNCaP prostate cancer cells

Ben-Zion Zaidman, Solomon P Wasser, Eviatar Nevo, Jamal Mahajna
International Journal of Oncology 2007, 31 (4): 959-67
Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.:Fr.) P. Karst, a medicinal fungus, has been widely used in Asian countries for centuries to prevent or treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. However, the mechanisms responsible for the effects of G. lucidum on cancer cells remain to be elucidated. We have previously shown that ethyl acetate extract of G. lucidum inhibits LNCaP prostate cancer cell viability and proliferation. We also demonstrated that G. lucidum extract decreased androgen receptor transcriptional activity, suppressed levels of secreted prostate-specific antigen, and suppressed androgen receptor protein level. In this study we investigated the mechanisms that underlie the activities of G. lucidum crude extract and its active fraction GLF4 in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Our data demonstrate that G. lucidum inhibits cell viability by induction of apoptosis through the extrinsic pathway that include activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 and inhibits cell proliferation by the down-regulation of cyclin D1 expression. Furthermore, G. lucidum crude extract and fraction GLF4 interfere with androgen receptor function via competition with the natural ligand dihydrotestosterone and suppression of androgen receptor/androgen response element complex formation. These results indicate that G. lucidum extracts have profound activity against LNCaP cells that merits further investigation as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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