Research Papers:

Antimetastatic effects of cordycepin mediated by the inhibition of mitochondrial activity and estrogen-related receptor α in human ovarian carcinoma cells

Chia-Woei Wang, Wei-Hsuan Hsu and Chen-Jei Tai _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:3049-3058. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13829

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Chia-Woei Wang1,2, Wei-Hsuan Hsu3, Chen-Jei Tai1,2,4,5

1Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11042, Taiwan

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11042, Taiwan

3Biochemical Process Technology Department, Center of Excellence for Drug Development, Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu 30068, Taiwan

4Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 11042, Taiwan

5Traditional Herbal Medicine Research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 11042, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Chen-Jei Tai, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cordycepin, mitochondrial fusion, mitochondrial fission, estrogen-related receptor (ERR)-α, antimigration

Received: September 16, 2016     Accepted: November 23, 2016     Published: December 09, 2016


Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine) is a compound for antitumor, which has been found to exert antiangiogenic, antimetastatic, and antiproliferative effects, as well as inducing apoptosis. However, the association between cancer metastasis and mitochondrial activity in cordycepin-treated ovarian carcinoma cells remains unclear. The 50 and 100 μM of cordycepin inhibits mitochondrial fusion and induces mitochondrial fission, respectively. These suggested that cordycepin showed the down-regulation of mitochondrial function and limitation of energy production. Because of activation of mitochondria and generation of energy are needed in cancer cell migration/invasion. After 24 h treatment, cordycepin suppresses epithelial–mesenchymal transition and migration in ovarian carcinoma cells through inhibiting estrogen-related receptor (ERR)-α. The ERRα is a co-transcription factor for gene expressions associated with mitochondrial fusion. Our results indicate that cordycepin suppresses metastasis and migration of ovarian carcinoma cells via inhibiting mitochondrial activity in non-toxic concentrations, and cordycepin has potential benefits in ovarian cancer therapy.

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