Background: Cordycepin is a nucleotide analogue from Cordyceps mushrooms,
which occupies a notable place in traditional medicine.
Objective: In this review article, we have discussed the recent findings on the molecular aspects
of cordycepin interactions with its recognized cellular targets, and possible mechanisms
of its anticancer activity.
Methods: We have explored databases like pubmed, google scholar, scopus and web of science
for the update information on cordycepin and mechanisms of its anticancer activity, and
reviewed in this study.
Results: Cordycepin has been widely recognized for its therapeutic potential against many
types of cancers by various mechanisms. More specifically, cordycepin can induce apoptosis,
resist cell cycle and cause DNA damage in cancer cells, and thus kill or control cancer cell
growth. Also cordycepin can induce autophagy and modulate immune system. Furthermore,
cordycepin also inhibits tumor metastasis. Although many success stories of cordycepin in
anticancer research in vitro and in animal model, and there is no successful clinical trial yet.
Conclusion: Ongoing research studies have reported highly potential anticancer activities of
cordycepin with numerous molecular mechanisms. The in vitro and in vivo success of cordycepin
in anticancer research might influence the clinical trials of cordycepin, and this molecule
might be used for development of future cancer drug.