Other Components of G lucidum

G. lucidum contains some other compounds that may contribute to its medicinal effect, such as proteins and lectins. The protein content of dried G. lucidum was found to be around 7-8% (49), which is lower than that of many other mushrooms (1). Bioactive proteins are reported to contribute to the medicinal properties of G. lucidum. For example, a protein purified from the mycelium (LZ-8) was found to have immunosuppressive effects (104-106). The content of carbohydrate and crude fiber of the dried mushroom was examined and found to be 26-28% and 59%, respectively, showing G. lucidum is a good source of fiber (49). Lectins were also isolated from the fruit body and mycelium of the mushroom. ''Lectins'' (from the latin word ''legere,'' to pick up, choose) are nonenzymatic proteins or glycoproteins that bind carbohydrate. Many species of animals, plants, and microorganisms produce lectins and these exhibit a wide range of functions. In animals, for example, lectins are involved in variety of cellular processes and the immune system (16,107,108). Other compounds that have been isolated from G. lucidum include enzymes such a metalloprotease that delays clotting time, ergosterol (provitamin D2), nucleosides, and nucleotides such as adenosine and guano-sine (13,16,32,49,85,109,110).

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