This review summarizes existing information about mushroom lectins,
with an emphasis on those from the following species which
have been most extensively characterized including various Agaricus
species, Amanita pantherina, Boletus satanas, Coprinus
Ganoderma lucidum, Flammulina velutipes, Grifola
Hericium erinaceum, Ischnoderma resinosum,
Lactarius deterrimus, Laetiporus sulphureus,
Tricholoma mongolicum and Volvariella volvacea.
It is noted that the mushroom lectins exhibit a diversity of chemical
characteristics. Some of them are monomeric, whereas others are dimeric,
trimeric or tetrameric. Their molecular weights range from
12 to 190 kDa, and the sugar contents from 0 to 18%. Carbohydrate
specificities involve mainly galactose, lactose and N-acetylgalactosamine.
A small number of mushroom lectins are specific for fucose, raffinose,
N-glycolyneuraminic acid and N-acetyl-d-lactosamine.
Studies on immunomodulatory and antitumour/cytotoxic
activities have been carried out on lectins from Agaricus
bisporus, Boletus satanas, Flammulina velutipes,
Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa, Tricholoma mongolicum
and Volvariella volvacea.