Mushrooms: A Potential Leukemia Cure?

October 6, 2017 in Our News & Bulletins by Brio Home Health and Hospice

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer, and treatment for it can be complex. However, researchers from the University of Florida have recently uncovered a new potential treatment option. They found that a protein found in Coprinus comatus, an edible mushroom found in North America and Europe, may be able to help kill a type of leukemia T cell.

The mushroom is known for its antioxidant properties. Previous studies have linked it to potential treatments for ovarian and prostate cancer. During this study, the researchers noted that the mushroom’s Y3 protein has glycan binding properties. This protein binds with glycans found in leukemia T cells and sets off a wave of programming in the cancer cell that cause it to kill itself. They tested this interaction using model leukemia cells. They found that the reaction sparked by the protein interacting with the glycan caused 90 percent of the leukemia cells to die.

The next step, according to the researchers, is to begin testing potential glycan binding properties of other edible mushrooms. They also suggest that they will start testing this glycan binding reaction in diseased animal models within a year to further test out how well this potential pathway works.

Source: Peilan Zhang, Kunhua Li, et. al, “Cytotoxic Protein rom the Mushroom Coprinus Comatus Possesses a Unique Mode for Glycan Binding and Specificity” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. vol. 114 no. 34 pp. 8980–8985

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