Mycosteroles – characteristics and biological importance


edible mushrooms

How to Cite

Sułkowska-Ziaja K, Hałaszuk P, Mastej M, Piechaczek M, Muszyńska B. Mycosteroles – characteristics and biological importance. mir [Internet]. 30Jun.2016 [cited 1Dec.2021];(106):26-4. Available from:


A group of natural sterols isolated from mushrooms are mycosterols, of which derivatives the most interesting is ergosterol (5,7,22-ergostatrien-3β-ol) and its peroxide, which are presented in the fruiting bodies of most of the representatives of the Basidiomycota taxon. Mushroom sterols are synthesized in a similar way, but the reaction sequence, which is squalene metabolism and the stereochemistry of the major products are different. As with many derivatives of isoprene, the basic unit of the synthesis of sterols is isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), which in turn is synthesized from acetyl-CoA by alternately pass away of mevalonic acid. Mycosteroles, they are considered beneficial compounds that have health promoting effects. It has been proven their ability to lower serum cholesterol, may also be effective in the prevention of certain types of cancer. Ergosterol, which is common in mushrooms, as peroxidation products thereof, also exhibits many beneficial effects. It may have the potential health benefits and influence on the improvement of essential physiological functions of human body, including reduced pain associated with the activity of inflammation, reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) and lowering cholesterol levels. It also has antioxidant properties and inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria.