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An ethanol extract of Poria cocos inhibits the proliferation of non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells via the mitochondria-mediated caspase activation pathway

Chu, Bo-Feng, Lin, Hang-Ching, Huang, Xin-Wen, Huang, Han-Yu, Wu, Carol P., Kao, Ming-Ching
Journal of functional foods 2016 v.23 pp. 614-627
Oriental traditional medicine, Wolfiporia cocos, apoptosis, caspase-9, cytochrome c, cytosol, cytotoxicity, dietary supplements, ethanol, functional foods, fungi, ingredients, lung neoplasms, membrane potential, mitochondria, patients, polysaccharides, triterpenoids
Poria cocos, a food ingredient and a traditional Chinese medicine, is a fungus commonly used in eastern countries. It exhibits diuretic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti-hyperglycaemic functions. In addition, the polysaccharide and triterpenoid components isolated from P. cocos exhibit anti-tumour effects in a number of cancer cell lines. Here, an extract of P. cocos, designated H287, was evaluated for its anti-lung cancer potential. H287 induced apoptosis in A549 cells via the mitochondria-mediated caspase activation pathway, as demonstrated by the loss of mitochondria outer membrane potential, release of cytochrome c into the cytosol, and the cleavage of procapsase-9 to caspase-9. Further analyses suggest that tumulosic acid, one of the triterpenoids present in H287, is responsible for the cytotoxic function of H287. H287 may potentially serve as a dietary supplement or functional food ingredient for patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancers.