Mushroom immunomodulators: unique molecules with unlimited applications

Trends in Biotechnology: Volume 31, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 668–677

Hesham A. El Enshasy1, 2, , Rajni Hatti-Kaul3


Mushroom cultivation for industrial production of immunomodulators.
For centuries, mushrooms have been used as food and medicine in different cultures. More recently, many bioactive compounds have been isolated from different types of mushrooms. Among these, immunomodulators have gained much interest based on the increasing growth of the immunotherapy sector. Mushroom immunomodulators are classified under four categories based on their chemical nature as: lectins, terpenoids, proteins, and polysaccharides. These compounds are produced naturally in mushrooms cultivated in greenhouses. For effective industrial production, cultivation is carried out in submerged culture to increase the bioactive compound yield, decrease the production time, and reduce the cost of downstream processing. This review provides a comprehensive overview on mushroom immunomodulators in terms of chemistry, industrial production, and applications in medical and nonmedical sectors.

mushroom immunomodulators; lectins; fungal immunomodulatory proteins; polysaccharides; terpenes and terpenoids; medical application; animal feed and aquaculture; industrial production