Ganoderma lucidum suppresses growth of breast cancer cells through the inhibition of Akt/NF-kappaB signaling.
Nutr Cancer. 2004;49(2):209-16. PMID: 15489214
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi, Lingzhi) is a popular Asian mushroom that has been used for more than 2 millennia for the general promotion of health and was therefore called the "Mushroom of Immortality." Ganoderma lucidum was also used in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent or treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. We previously demonstrated that Ganoderma lucidum suppresses the invasive behavior of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the transcription factor NF-kappaB. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the inhibitory effects of Ganoderma lucidum on the growth of highly invasive and metastatic breast cancer cells has not been fully elucidated. Here, we show that Ganoderma lucidum inhibits proliferation of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells by downregulating Akt/NF-kappaB signaling. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses phosphorylation of Akt on Ser473 and downregulates the expression of Akt, which results in the inhibition of NF-kappaB activity in MDA-MB-231 cells. The biological effect of Ganoderma lucidum was demonstrated by cell cycle arrest at G0/G1, which was the result of the downregulation of expression of NF-kappaB-regulated cyclin D1, followed by the inhibition of cdk4. Our results suggest that Ganoderma lucidum inhibits the growth of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells by modulating Akt/NF-kappaB signaling and could have potential therapeutic use for the treatment of breast cancer.