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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i11.20
pages 965-975

Medicinal Properties of the Genus Clitocybe and of Lectins from the Clouded Funnel Cap Mushroom, C. nebularis (Agaricomycetes): A Review

Jure Pohleven
Department of Biotechnology, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Janko Kos
Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana; and Department of Biotechnology, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jerica Sabotic
Department of Biotechnology, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

ABSTRACT

Current knowledge of the medicinal properties of Basidiomycetes mushroom species of the genus Clitocybe and of the biological activity of C. nebularis fruiting bodies is reviewed. The main focus is the therapeutic potential of lectins from C. nebularis. Species of the genus Clitocybe, including C. nebularis, have not been traditionally considered as medicinal mushrooms; however, recent studies have demonstrated their antitumor, immunomodulatory, and antioxidative properties, their antimicrobial (antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal) activities against various bacteria and fungi, as well as their potential use in therapy for alcoholism and as psychotropic agents. These activities have been shown to be due to various compounds, either isolated or in extracts, mainly polysaccharides but also phenols, ribonucleosides, and proteins. These include laccase, protease inhibitors, and lectins. C. nebularis has been shown to be rich in a variety of lectins and isolectins with distinct carbohydrate-binding specificities, showing versatile biological activities. They exhibit immunostimulatory and adhesion-/phagocytosis-promoting properties, as well as toxicity in various invertebrates. Mushroom species of the genus Clitocybe, including C. nebularis, thus constitute a valuable source of compounds showing diverse biological activities with a broad potential for applications in biomedicine or biotechnology. On the basis of such evidence reviewed here, we propose that C. nebularis and other Clitocybe species can be considered to be medicinal mushrooms.