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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4 (2007), Issue 1, Pages 83-94
Original Article

Delayed Cell Cycle Progression and Apoptosis Induced by Hemicellulase-Treated Agaricus blazei

1Department of Alternative Medicine and Bioregulation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, 1110 Shimokato, Chuo, Yamanashi 409-3898, Japan
2Department of Microbiology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi, Japan

Received 12 March 2006; Accepted 10 August 2006

Copyright © 2007 Masaki Kawamura and Hirotake Kasai. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined the effects of hemicellulase-treated Agaricus blazei (AB fraction H, ABH) on growth of several tumor cell lines. ABH inhibited the proliferation of some cell lines without cytotoxic effects. It markedly prolonged the S phase of the cell cycle. ABH also induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in different cell lines. However, it had no impact on the growth of other cell lines. ABH induced strong activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the cells in which it evoked apoptosis. On the other hand, ABH showed only a weak p38 activation effect in those cell lines in which it delayed cell cycle progression with little induction of apoptosis. However, p38 MAPK-specific inhibitor inhibited both ABH-induced effects, and ABH also caused apoptosis in the latter cells under conditions of high p38 MAPK activity induced by combined treatment with TNF-α. These results indicate that the responsiveness of p38 MAPK to ABH, which differs between cell lines, determines subsequent cellular responses on cell growth.