Background and Aim
Cordycepin, the major active component from Cordyceps militaris, has been reported to significantly inhibit some types of cancer; however, its effects on ovarian cancer are still not well understood. In this study, we treated human ovarian cancer cells with different doses of cordycepin and found that it dose-dependently reduced ovarian cancer cell viability, based on Cell counting kit-8 reagent.
Method and Result
Immunoblotting showed that cordycepin increased Dickkopf-related protein 1 (Dkk1) levels and inhibited β-catenin signaling. Atg7 knockdown in ovarian cancer cells significantly inhibited cordycepin-induced apoptosis, whereas β-catenin overexpression abolished the effects of cordycepin on cell death and proliferation. Furthermore, we found that Dkk1 overexpression by transfection downregulated the expression of c-Myc and cyclin D1. siRNA-mediated Dkk1 silencing downregulated the expression of Atg8, beclin, and LC3 and promoted β-catenin translocation from the cytoplasm into the nucleus.
These results suggest that cordycepin inhibits ovarian cancer cell growth, possibly through coordinated autophagy and Dkk1/β-catenin signaling. Taken together, our findings provide new insights into the treatment of ovarian cancer using cordycepin.