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Phytomedicine. 2011 Mar 15;18(5):387-92. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.07.010. Epub 2010 Aug 23.

Cordymin, an antifungal peptide from the medicinal fungus Cordyceps militaris.

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School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


Cordymin, an antifungal peptide with a molecular mass of 10,906 Da and an N-terminal amino acid sequence distinct from those of previously reported proteins, was purified from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps militaris. The isolation protocol comprised ion exchange chromatography of the aqueous extract on SP-Sepharose and Mono S and gel filtration on Superdex 75 by a fast protein liquid chromatography system. Cordymin was adsorbed on both cation exchangers. The peptide inhibited mycelial growth in Bipolaris maydis, Mycosphaerella arachidicola, Rhizoctonia solani and Candida albicans with an IC(50) of 50 μM, 10 μM, 80 μM, and 0.75 mM, respectively. However, there was no effect on Aspergillus fumigatus, Fusarium oxysporum and Valsa mali when tested up to 2 mM. The antifungal activity of the peptide was stable up to 100°C and in the pH range 6-13, and unaffected by 10 mM Zn(2+) and 10 mM Mg(2+). Cordymin inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase with an IC(50) of 55 μM. Cordymin displayed antiproliferative activity toward breast cancer cells (MCF-7) but there was no effect on colon cancer cells (HT-29). There was no mitogenic activity toward mouse spleen cells and no nitric oxide inducing activity toward mouse macrophages when tested up to 1 mM.

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