Lentinus edodes is the first medicinal macrofungus to enter the realm of modern biotechnology. It is the second most popular edible mushroom in the global market which is attributed not only to its nutritional value but also to possible potential for therapeutic applications. Lentinus edodes is used medicinally for diseases involving depressed immune function (including AIDS), cancer, environmental allergies, fungal infection, frequent flu and colds, bronchial inflammation, heart disease, hyperlipidemia (including high blood cholesterol), hypertension, infectious disease, diabetes, hepatitis and regulating urinary inconsistancies. It is the source of several well-studied preparations with proven pharmacological properties, especially the polysaccharide lentinan, eritadenine, shiitake mushroom mycelium, and culture media extracts (LEM, LAP and KS-2). Antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic and antiviral compounds have been isolated intracellularly (fruiting body and mycelia) and extracellularly (culture media). Some of these substances were lentinan, lectins and eritadenine. The aim of this review is to discuss the therapeutic applications of this macrofungus. The potential of this macrofungus is unquestionable in the most important areas of applied biotechnology.
Anti-cancer, eritadenine, immunomodulation, lentinan, Lentinus edodes, polysaccharide