Cordycepin inhibits albumin-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition of renal tubular epithelial cells by reducing reactive oxygen species production

Li Xiao, Yan Ge, Lin Sun, Xiaoxuan Xu, Ping Xie, Ming Zhan, Ming Wang, Zheng Dong, Jun Li, Shaobin Duan, Fuyou Liu, Ping Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Albumin induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of renal tubular cells through reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathway plays an important role in tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine), a potential antioxidant, was demonstrated to have various pharmacological effects and could inhibit EMT of some cells. However, the role of cordycepin on albumin-induced EMT in renal tubular cells (HK2) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of cordycepin on albumin-induced EMT of HK2 cells and its mechanisms. HK-2 cells were exposed to bovine serum albumin with or without pretreatment with cordycepin. Results showed that albumin significantly induced EMT formation of HK-2 which associated with NADPH oxidase activation and intracellular ROS overproduction through increased Rac1 activity and expression of NOX4, p22phox and p47phox, while these effects were abolished in that pretreated with cordycepin. In conclusion, cordycepin could ameliorate albumin-induced EMT of HK2 cells by decreasing NADPH oxidase activity and inhibiting ROS production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012



  • EMT
  • ROS
  • albumin
  • cordycepin
  • renal tubular cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this