We have demonstrated that an extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling-Zhi) polysaccharides (EORP) exerts immunomodulating activities by stimulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines from mouse spleen cells. Interestingly, via responding to LPS in genetic variation of murine macrophage HeNC2 and GG2EE cell lines, and using TLR4 Ab blockage in human blood-derived monocytic macrophages, we have found that the TLR4, but not complement receptor type 3, is a putative receptor of EORP, mediating the consequent immunomodulating events associated with IL-1 gene expression. Based on our studies of reactive oxygen species production, polymyxin B inhibition, and protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) activity, we ruled out the possibility of LPS contamination in EORP. We have found that EORP differentially modulates the protein kinase (PK)-mediated signal transduction pathways associated with inflammatory cytokine IL-1. In human macrophages and murine macrophage J774A.1 cells, EORP was found to up-regulate IL-1 secretion and pro-IL-1 (precursor of IL-1) as well as IL-1-converting enzyme expression. Specifically, EORP rapidly stimulates PTK-mediated phosphorylation, followed by induction of PKs and activation of MAPKs: ERK, JNK, and p38. Using PK inhibitors in the kinase activity assays, Western blot analyses and IL-1 ELISA, we have extensively examined and dissected the role of individual PK in the regulation of pro-IL-1/IL-1. Our findings establish that EORP-mediated signaling pathways are involved in the pro-IL-1/IL-1 regulation: PTK/protein kinase C/MEK1/ERK and PTK/Rac1/p21-activated kinase/p38.