Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 103–111

The apoptotic effect of cordycepin on human OEC-M1 oral cancer cell line

  • Wei-Ciao Wu
  • Jenn-Ren Hsiao
  • Yu-Yan Lian
  • Chun-Yu Lin
  • Bu-Miin Huang
Original Article


Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine), a pure compound of Cordyceps sinensis, has been illustrated with anti-tumor effects. In the present study, the apoptotic effect of cordycepin on OEC-M1, a human oral squamous cancer cell line, was investigated by morphological observations, cell viability assay, annexin V-FITC analysis and flow cytometry methods. Results demonstrated that the number of rounded-up cell increased as treatment duration of cordycepin (100 μM) increased from 3 to 48 h, and the plasma membrane blebbing could be observed after 12 h treatment. In cell viability assay, cell surviving rate significantly decreased as the dosage and duration of cordycepin treatment increased (< 0.05). Moreover, phosphatidylserine flipping on cell membrane could be detected with 3, 6 and 12 h cordycepin treatment, which indicated an early apoptotic phenomenon. Furthermore, cell cycle studies illustrated that the percentage of G1 phase cell declined as the dosages of cordycepin increased (10 μM to 5 mM), while the percentages of G2M and subG1 phase cell increased (< 0.05) in 12, 24 and 48 h cordycepin treatment. These results further confirmed the apoptotic event. In conclusion, cordycepin significantly induced cell apoptotsis in OEC-M1 human oral squamous cancer cells.


Cordycepin Apoptosis OEC-M1 Oral cancer Cell cycle Cell viability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-Ciao Wu
    • 1
  • Jenn-Ren Hsiao
    • 2
  • Yu-Yan Lian
    • 3
  • Chun-Yu Lin
    • 3
  • Bu-Miin Huang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan, ROC

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