Cordyceps cicadae: liver cancer fighting propensities

Submitted by cordyceps on Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:37

Interestingly here an open access paper that looks into the effects on liver cancer cells of one of the "minor" medicinal Cordyceps species, Cordyceps cicadae. There has been a bunch of research into C. cicadae, especially regarding kidney support and also as an TCM asthma remedy (see refernces of this paper). Anyways, some years ago I have bought a few specimen for very cheap in a locally sourced materia medica & souvenir store in Gyalthang, currently Shangrila, Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Yunnan. And the low price is one of the arguments for this Cordyceps, since Tibetan Yartsa gunbu (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is just astronomically priced.


Cordyceps cicadae induces G2/M cell cycle arrest in MHCC97H human hepatocellular carcinoma cells: a proteomic study

Hualin Wang12Jing Zhang1Wai-Hung Sit1Chung-Yung Jetty Lee1 and Jennifer Man-Fan Wan1*



Cordyceps cicadae is a medicinal fungus that is often used for treating cancer. However, the anticancer mechanisms of C. cicadae are largely unknown. This study aims to investigate the anticancer mechanisms of C. cicadae against hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro using a proteomic approach.


Human hepatocellular carcinoma MHCC97H cells were treated with a water extract of C. cicadae(0, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 μg/mL) for 48 h and harvested for cell viability assays. The significant differences in protein expression between control and C. cicadae-treated cells were analyzed by two-dimensional gel-based proteomics coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Flow cytometry analysis was employed to investigate the cell cycle and cell death. The anticancer molecular mechanism was analyzed by whole proteome mapping.


The water extract of C. cicadae (0, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 μg/mL) inhibited the growth of MHCC97H cells in a dose-dependent manner via G2/M phase cell cycle arrest with no evidence of apoptosis. Among the identified proteins with upregulated expression were dynactin subunit 2, N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1, heat shock protein beta-1, alpha-enolase isoform 1, phosphatidylinositol transfer protein, and WD repeat-containing protein 1. Meanwhile, the proteins with downregulated expression were 14-3-3 gamma, BUB3, microtubule-associated protein RP/EB family member 1, thioredoxin-like protein, chloride intracellular channel protein 1, ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 5, xaa-Pro dipeptidase, enoyl-CoA delta isomerase 1, protein-disulfide isomerase-related chaperone Erp29, hnRNP 2H9B, peroxiredoxin 1, WD-40 repeat protein, and serine/threonine kinase receptor-associated protein.


The water extract of C. cicadae reduced the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma MHCC97H cells via G2/M cell cycle arrest.

Cordyceps cicadae

Last edited on Thu, May 29, 2014, 10:37 am