In particular five polypore species, i.e. Laetiporus sulphureus, Fomes fomentarius, Fomitopsis pinicola, Piptoporus betulinus, and Laricifomes officinalis have been widely used in central European folk medicines for the treatment of various diseases, e.g. dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder disorders, pyretic diseases, treatment of coughs, cancer, and rheumatism. Prehistoric artefacts going back to over 5,000 years underline the long tradition of using polypores for various applications ranging from food or tinder material to medicinal-spiritual uses as witnessed by two polypore species found among items of Ötzi, the Iceman.
Chemical investigation on the cultures of Phellinus tuberculosus and Laetiporus sulphureus lead to the isolation of two new illudin-type sesquiterpenoids (phellinuin J and sulphureuine A). Their structures were elucidated by 1D, 2D NMR and MS spectroscopic data. These compounds were purposely evaluated for their cytotoxicity against HL-60, SMMC-7721, A549, MCF-7, and SW480 cell lines.
Seven new drimane-type sesquiterpenoids, sulphureuines B-H (1-7), together with four known compounds (8-11), were obtained from cultures of mushroom Laetiporus sulphureus. All of these compounds were tested for their cytotoxicities against five human cancer cell lines (HL-60, SMMC-721, A-549, MCF-7, SW-480), compound 10 showed potent cytotoxic activity against HL-60, SMMC-721, A-549, SW-480, with IC50 values of 37.5, 14.8, 15.6, and 36.1 μM, respectively.