Navigation Links
Danish mushroom inspires cancer researchers
Date:12/8/2011

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have explored the active principles of a Danish mushroom and found that some of the substances it contains are particularly toxic towards cancer cells. The goal is to synthesise and refine substances in the mushroom that may be useful in future drug development.

Asia has a long and proud tradition of using folk medicines based on natural products. Many substances found in fungi are today registered as drugs to support chemotherapy treatments for cancer among others, the mushroom Lentinula edodes (commonly known as Shiitake), which is the primary ingredient in a registered drug extract on the Japanese market.

"Dr. Ming Chen, a ChineseDanish physician and specialist in Chinese folk medicine, has discovered a Danish mushroom which contains toxins that are especially effective against cancer cells. The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has investigated the mushroom's chemistry and, based on the substances isolated from it, we are developing a refined chemical compound that is even more effective and selective," says Sren Brgger Christensen, Professor of Natural Products Research at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The project has received DKK 2.6 million in financial support from Protech Investment Ltd a spin-off company from a large Chinese producer of natural medicines.

Traditional medicines derived from natural products are often based on the experiences of several generations of shamans. Consequently these inherited experiences are eminent sources of information in the hunt for new active ingredients with potential for drug development. In Denmark, mushrooms have primarily been used in food preparation, while some species have been used as intoxicants. However, they have been largely absent within Danish folk medicine.

This lack of folk knowledge led Dr. Chen, a senior physician at Snderborg Hospital, to begin screening poisonous Danish mushrooms. After an intense search, he discovered a particular mushroom that is significantly more toxic towards cancer cells than benign human cells. At the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, exchange student Xuemei Liu, also from China, isolated the active principles:

"This is a completely new class of natural compounds, which makes the research results unique," explains Christensen, who has been collaborating with Chen since 1990, when they were both members of a research group that worked on developing an anti-malaria drug based on an active principle found in Chinese liquorice root.

When an interesting natural substance is discovered, it must go through a development process, in which researchers try to produce new compounds that allow for the proper selectivity in the body and therefore have minimal side effects.

"We were able to isolate the mushroom's active principles and determine their chemical structures. The natural compounds are not useful in themselves because their complex structure means that they cannot be synthesised in a commercially viable manner. The problem with sustainable production of the active substance is further complicated by the fact that tissue of the mushroom if it is grown from a cell culture does not produce the active molecule. Therefore, we attempt to produce simple and effective analogues that is, new compounds that have fine-tuned the effects so that a simplified molecule carries the same promising properties with regard to combating cancer cells. In this manner we use nature as an inspiration for synthetic chemistry," Christensen explains.

He emphasises that, as with all new drugs, using the results to develop a viable product will be a long, difficult process.

"Even though there is a wealth of medicinal mushrooms on the Asian market, it is unfortunately not possible to transfer Chinese folk medicine directly to Denmark. One problem is that the active principles in mushrooms are often tested in combination with forms of chemotherapy that we do not use in Europe," Christensen says.


'/>"/>
Contact: Professor Sren Brgger Christensen
sbc@farma.ku.dk
01-145-453-533-6253
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Mammograms May Not Boost Survival, Danish Study Suggests
2. All Aboard! Danish Artist, Kajsa Vala Debut Album, Your Train, Reaches #15 In Its 2nd Week - Cashbox Magazine
3. Danish Study Suggests Jaundice-Autism Link
4. Researchers study benefits of white button mushrooms
5. Magic Mushroom Hallucinogen Might Help Cancer Patients
6. Magic Mushroom Compound Triggered Positive Personality Change in Study
7. Mushroom compound appears to improve effectiveness of cancer drugs
8. Prize4Life Inspires Award-winning ALS Film: Trapped
9. Plankton inspires creation of stealth armor for slow-release microscopic drug vehicles
10. Enhancing arrest of cell growth to treat cancer in mice
11. Paxil Blocks Tamoxifen, Lowers Survival Odds Against Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is ... associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Markets has announced the addition of the " ... offering. This ... and provides an updated review, including its applications in ... the total market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. ... which develops, markets and sells medical devices and wearable ... signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain ... Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new ... cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... India , June 24, 2016 ... Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen ... Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, ... by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the ... expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: