Mitogenic activity of edible mushroom lectins

J.C.K. Ho, S.C.W. Sze, W.Z. Shen, W.K. Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


A special group of lectins were isolated from three popular Asian edible mushrooms: Volvariella volvacea, Pleurotus flabellatus and Hericium erinacium, and their mitogenic activities towards mouse T cells were compared to the extensively investigated Agaricus bisporus lectin (ABL) and the Jack bean lectin, Concanavalin A (Con A). Among the four mushroom lectins tested, V. volvacea lectin (VVL) exhibited strong mitogenic activity as demonstrated by 3H-thymidine incorporation, which was at least 10-fold more effective than that of Con A, and the other mushroom lectins did not exhibit any proliferative activity. Treatment with VVL and ABL resulted in activation of the protein tyrosine kinase, p56lck, and expression of early activation markers, CD69 and CD25, but only VVL induced intracellular calcium influx while ABL triggered cell death. The calcium influx was sensitive to calcium channel antagonists such as nifedipine and verapamil. The P. flabellatus lectin (PFL) and H. erinacium lectin (HEL) did not stimulate p56lck expression and cell proliferation. Neither of these lectins interfered with Con A-mediated lymphocyte proliferation, which further indicated that both PFL and HEL were non-mitogenic. Taken all results together, VVL induced mitogenesis through T cell receptors and the subsequent calcium signaling pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number1-3
Early online date14 Jan 2004
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2004

User-Defined Keywords

  • Mushroom lectin
  • Mouse T cell
  • Viability
  • Activation marker
  • Intracellular calcium


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