Cordycepin inhibits human gestational choriocarcinoma cell growth by disrupting centrosome homeostasis

Chia Yih Wang, Shih Wei Tsai, Han Hsiang Chien, Ting Yu Chen, Shi Yuan Sheu, Edmund Cheung So, Bu Miin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Human gestational choriocarcinoma, a type of gestational trophoblastic disease, occurs after miscarriage, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy. Despite recent advances in the mechanism of anticancer drugs that induce human gestational choriocarcinoma apoptosis or block its growth, new therapeutic approaches are needed to be established. Cordycepin is an active anti-cancer component extracted from Cordyceps sinensis. It prevents cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Materials and Methods: Here, we examined cell growth by counting cell numbers, and performing a flow cytometry assay and EdU incorporation assay. Centrosome and cytoske-leton-related structures were observed by immunofluorescence assay. The DNA damage-related signaling was examined by Western blot assay. Results: Here, we showed that cordycepin inhibited human gestational choriocarcinoma cell proliferation and induced cell death. In addition, treatment with cordycepin activated DNA-PK and ERK, thus inducing centrosome amplification and aberrant mitosis. These amplified centrosomes also disrupted microtubule arrays and actin networks, thus leading to defective cell adhesion. Furthermore, cordycepin induced autophagy for triggering cell death. Conclusion: Thus, our study demonstrates that cordycepin inhibits cell proliferation and disrupts the cytoskeleton by triggering centrosome amplification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2987-3000
Number of pages14
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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