Cordycepin, a bioactive constituent from the fungus Cordyceps sinensis
, could inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promote cell death via induction of cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and autophagy. Our novel finding from microarray analysis of cordycepin-treated MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells is that cordycepin down-regulated the mRNA levels of FGF9, FGF18, FGFR2
genes in MA-10 cells. Meanwhile, the IPA-MAP pathway prediction result showed that cordycepin inhibited MA-10 cell proliferation by suppressing FGFs/FGFRs pathways. The in vitro study further revealed that cordycepin decreased FGF9-induced MA-10 cell proliferation by inhibiting the expressions of p-ERK1/2, p-Rb and E2F1, and subsequently reducing the expressions of cyclins and CDKs. In addition, a mouse allograft model was performed by intratumoral injection of FGF9 and/or intraperitoneal injection of cordycepin to MA-10-tumor bearing C57BL/6J mice. Results showed that FGF9-induced tumor growth in cordycepin-treated mice was significantly smaller than that in a PBS-treated control group. Furthermore, cordycepin decreased FGF9-induced FGFR1-4 protein expressions in vitro and in vivo. In summary, cordycepin inhibited FGF9-induced testicular tumor growth by suppressing the ERK1/2, Rb/E2F1, cell cycle pathways, and the expressions of FGFR1-4 proteins, suggesting that cordycepin can be used as a novel anticancer drug for testicular cancers.
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