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3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.720
Molar mass 251.25 g·mol−1
Melting point 225.5 °C (437.9 °F; 498.6 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Cordycepin, or 3'-deoxyadenosine, is a derivative of the nucleoside adenosine, differing from the latter by the absence of the hydroxy group in the 3' position of its ribose part. It was initially extracted from the fungus Cordyceps militaris,[1] but is now produced synthetically.

Because cordycepin is similar to adenosine, some enzymes cannot discriminate between the two. Therefore, it can participate in certain biochemical reactions (for example, be incorporated into an RNA molecule, thus causing the premature termination of its synthesis).[2][3]

Cordycepin has displayed cytotoxicity against some leukemic cell lines in vitro, and at least one clinical trial of cordycepin as a leukemia treatment is in progress.[4]

Cordycepin has been found to produce rapid, robust imipramine-like antidepressant effects in animal models of depression, and these effects, similarly to those of imipramine, are dependent on enhancement of AMPA receptor signaling.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cunningham, K. G.; Manson, W.; Spring, F. S. & Hutchinson, S. A. (1950). "Cordycepin, a Metabolic Product isolated from Cultures of Cordyceps militaris (Linn.) Link". Nature. 166: 949. doi:10.1038/166949a0. PMID 14796634. 
  2. ^ Siev, M.; Weinberg, R. & Penman, S. (1969). "The selective interruption of nucleolar RNA synthesis in HeLa cells by cordycepin". J. Cell Biol. 41 (2): 510–520. doi:10.1083/jcb.41.2.510. PMC 2107749Freely accessible. PMID 5783871. 
  3. ^ Kondrashov A, Meijer HA, Barthet-Barateig A, Parker HN, Khurshid A, Tessier S, et al. (2012). "Inhibition of polyadenylation reduces inflammatory gene induction". RNA. 18 (12): 2236–50. doi:10.1261/rna.032391.112. PMC 3504674Freely accessible. PMID 23118416. 
  4. ^ National Cancer Institute. "Definition of cordycepin". NCI Drug Dictionary. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Li, Bai; Hou, Yangyang; Zhu, Ming; Bao, Hongkun; Nie, Jun; Zhang, Grace Y.; Shan, Liping; Yao, Yao; Du, Kai; Yang, Hongju; Li, Meizhang; Zheng, Bingrong; Xu, Xiufeng; Xiao, Chunjie; Du, Jing (2016). "3'-Deoxyadenosine (Cordycepin) Produces a Rapid and Robust Antidepressant Effect via Enhancing Prefrontal AMPA Receptor Signaling Pathway". International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 19 (4): pyv112. doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyv112. ISSN 1461-1457.