This article is about Trametes versicolor, also known as the unji mushroom. For the town of Undzhi or Unji, see Undzhi
Trametes versicolor — also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor — is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning 'of several colours', versicolor reliably describes this mushroom found in different colors. By example, due to its resembling multiple colors in the tail of wild turkey, T. versicolor is commonly called turkey tail.
Description and ecology 
The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colours. Flesh 1–3 mm thick, leathery texture. Cap with rust-brown or darker brown, sometimes blackish zones, Older specimens, such as the one pictured at right, can have zones with green algae growing on them, thus appearing green. Commonly grows in tiled layers. Cap flat, up to 8 x 5 x 0.5-1 centimeters, often triangular or round, with zones of fine hairs. Pore surface whitish to light brown, pores round and with age twisted and labyrinthine. 2-5 pores per millimeter
May be eaten by caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella and by maggots of the Platypezid fly Polyporivora picta.
Research and traditional medicine 
T. versicolor is recognized as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine under the name yun zhi (simplified Chinese: 云芝, traditional Chinese: 雲芝). In China and Japan, a chemical compound extracted from T. versicolor, polysaccharide-K, may be used as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer, but this effect is refuted by the American Cancer Society stating that "available scientific evidence does not support claims that the raw mushroom itself is an effective anti-cancer agent in humans." There is no regulatory approval of this mushroom or extract for any clinical use in other developed countries.
PSK displays anticancer activity in preliminary laboratory assessments in vitro, in vivo and in preliminary human research. Other basic research showed that PSK might reduce mutagen-induced, radiation-induced, and spontaneously induced development of experimental cancer cell preparations. PSK has shown to be beneficial as an adjuvant in the treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. Human pilot studies indicate PSK might reduce cancer recurrence when used as an adjuvant and other basic research has demonstrated the mushroom can inhibit certain human cancer cell lines in vitro. Further in vitro studies have shown that a nutraceutical blend (MC-S) of PSK, lentinan and other fungal extracts might also inhibit cancer cell proliferation under laboratory conditions.
The MD Anderson has reported that it is a "promising candidate for chemoprevention due to the multiple effects on the malignant process, limited side effects and safety of daily oral doses for extended periods of time." At present, however, there are no approved drugs, mechanisms of action or scientifically verified anti-disease activities resulting from this mushroom.
Two varieties of T. versicolor on the same tree stump.
Close photo of T. versicolor.
Close-up showing underside and pores of an older specimen of T. versicolor.
See also 
- ^ Chandler, Peter J. (2001), The Flat-footed flies (Opetiidae and Platypezidae) of Europe, Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 36, Leiden: Brill, pp. 1–278, ISBN 90-04-12023-8
- ^ "Coriolus Versicolor". American Cancer Society. November 2008.
- ^ Jiménez-Medina E, Berruguilla E, Romero I, et al. (2008), "The immunomodulator PSK induces in vitro cytotoxic activity in tumour cell lines via arrest of cell cycle and induction of apoptosis", BMC Cancer 8: 78, doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-78, PMC 2291471, PMID 18366723.
- ^ Yamasaki A, Shoda M, Iijima H, et al. (March 2009), "A protein-bound polysaccharide, PSK, enhances tumor suppression induced by docetaxel in a gastric cancer xenograft model", Anticancer Res. 29 (3): 843–50, PMID 19414318.
- ^ a b Oba K, Teramukai S, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, Kodera Y, Sakamoto J (June 2007), "Efficacy of adjuvant immunochemotherapy with polysaccharide K for patients with curative resections of gastric cancer", Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 56 (6): 905–11, doi:10.1007/s00262-006-0248-1, PMID 17106715.
- ^ "Antimetastatic effects of PSK (Krestin), a protein-bound polysaccharide obtained from basidiomycetes: an overview". Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 4 (3): 275–81. 1995. PMID 7606203.
- ^ Fisher, M. Y. (May 2002). "Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide-K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy". Anticancer research 22 (3): 1737–1754. ISSN 0250-7005. PMID 12168863.
- ^ Sugimachi K, Maehara Y, Ogawa M, Kakegawa T, Tomita M (4 August 1997), "Dose intensity of uracil and tegafur in postoperative chemotherapy for patients with poorly differentiated gastric cancer", Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 40 (3): 233–8, doi:10.1007/s002800050652, PMID 9219507
- ^ Hsieh TC, Wu JM (January 2001), "Cell growth and gene modulatory activities of Yunzhi (Windsor Wunxi) from mushroom Trametes versicolor in androgen-dependent and androgen-insensitive human prostate cancer cells", Int J Oncol 18 (1): 81–8, PMID 11115542
- ^ Dong Y, Yang MM, Kwan CY (1 January 1997), "In vitro inhibition of proliferation of HL-60 cells by tetrandrine and coriolus versicolor peptide derived from Chinese medicinal herbs", Life Sci 60 (8): 135–40, doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(96)00695-9, PMID 9042394
- ^ Yang MM, Chen Z, Kwok JS (1 January 1992), "The anti-tumor effect of a small polypeptide from Coriolus versicolor (SPCV)", Am J Chin Med 20 (3-4): 221–32, doi:10.1142/S0192415X92000230, PMID 1471606
- ^ Clark D, Adams M (2009), "A commercial nutraceutical mix Metabolic Cell-Support (MC-S) inhibits proliferation of cancer cell lines in vitro", Austr. J. Med. Herbal. 21: 39–43
- ^ "Coriolus versicolor". Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources. MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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