암은 전 세계 사망률과 질병률의 가장 큰 원인이다. Cordycepin (3'-deoxyadenosine)은 동양의 전통의학에서 널리 사용되고 있는 동충하초의 주요 기능성 구성요소이자 아데노신 유사체로 알려져 있다. 지난 10년간 cordycepin은 in vitro 및 in vivo 모델에서 면역활성 기능뿐 만 아니라 항염증, 항산화 및 항암 등 다양한 약리학적 특성을 가진다고 보고되어왔다. 최근 들어 많은 연구들은 cordycepin을 화학예방요법 작용제 측면에서 흥미로운 특성을 보고하였고, 실험적인 증거들에 의해 세포사멸 촉진, 세포주기 정지 유도, 세포 내 신호 전달 경로 조절, 암세포의 침윤 및 전이 억제를 통해 암의 증식을 지연시킨다고 보고되어 왔다. Cordycpin은 많은 암 세포에서 retinoblastoma protein (RB)의 인산화를 막고 cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) inhibitors를 활성화시켜 G2/M기의 진행을 막는 효력이 있음이 밝혀졌다. 또한, 세포 사멸을 유도하기 위해 세포 내/외부에 존재하는 경로를 활성화시켜 활성 산소종을 생성하고 하위에 존재하는 kinase cascade 반응을 개시한다. 아울러 cordycepin은 또 다른 세포 사멸인 autophagy와 같은 대체 경로를 활성화 시킬 수도 있으며, nuclear factor-kappa B 및 activated protein-1 신호 경로를 포함한 다양한 기전을 통하여 암세포 분리, 이주, 침윤 및 전이 또한 억제 할 수 있다. 본 총설에서는 cordycepin의 항암 작용 기전을 요약하고, 다양한 암 발생의 치료제로서 가능성을 논의하고자 한다.
Cancers are the largest cause of mortality and morbidity all over the world. Cordycepin, an adenosine analog, is a major functional component of the Cordyceps species, which has been widely used in traditional Oriental medicine. Over the last decade, this compound has been reported to possess many pharmacological properties, such as an ability to enhance immune function, as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. Recently, numerous studies have reported interesting properties of cordycepin as a chemopreventive agent as well. There is an accumulating body of experimental evidences suggesting that cordycepin impedes cancer progression by promoting apoptosis, inducing cell cycle arrest, modulating intracellular signaling pathways, and inhibiting invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. In many cancer cell lines, cordycepin inhibits growth and cell cycle progression by inducing arrest of the G2/M phase, resulting from the inhibition of retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation and induction of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. To induce apoptosis, cordycepin activates the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways, which promotes reactive oxygen species generation and the downstream activation of kinase cascades. Cordycepin also can activate alternative pathways to cell death such autophagy. In addition, cordycepin can inhibit the pro-metastatic processes of cancer cell detachment, migration, and invasion through a variety of mechanisms, including the nuclear factor-kappa B and activated protein-1 signaling pathways. In this review, we summarized the variety of action mechanisms by which cordycepin may mediate chemopreventive effects on cancer and discussed the potential of this natural product as a promising therapeutic inhibitor of cancer development.
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