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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2009 Oct 15;490(2):103-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Sep 5.

Cordycepin causes p21WAF1-mediated G2/M cell-cycle arrest by regulating c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation in human bladder cancer cells.

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Department of Food and Biotechnology, Chungju National University, Chungju, Chungbuk 380-702, South Korea.


Cordycepin (3'-deoxyadenosine), a bioactive compound of Cordyceps militaris, has many pharmacological activities. The present study reveals novel molecular mechanisms for the anti-tumor effects of cordycepin in two different bladder cancer cell lines, 5637 and T-24 cells. Cordycepin treatment, at a dose of 200 microM (IC(50)) during cell-cycle progression resulted in significant and dose-dependent growth inhibition, which was largely due to G2/M-phase arrest, and resulted in an up-regulation of p21WAF1 expression, independent of the p53 pathway. Moreover, treatment with cordycepin-induced phosphorylation of JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinases). Blockade of JNK function using SP6001259 (JNK-specific inhibitor) and small interfering RNA (si-JNK1) rescued cordycepin-dependent p21WAF1 expression, inhibited cell growth, and decreased cell cycle proteins. These results suggest that cordycepin could be an effective treatment for bladder cancer.

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