Cordymin, an antifungal peptide from the medicinal fungus Cordyceps militaris

Jack H. Wong, Tzi Bun Ng*, Hexiang Wang, Stephen Cho Wing Sze, Kalin Yanbo Zhang, Qi Li, Xiaoxu Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Cordymin, an antifungal peptide with a molecular mass of 10,906 Da and an N-terminal amino acid sequence distinct from those of previously reported proteins, was purified from the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps militaris. The isolation protocol comprised ion exchange chromatography of the aqueous extract on SP-Sepharose and Mono S and gel filtration on Superdex 75 by a fast protein liquid chromatography system. Cordymin was adsorbed on both cation exchangers. The peptide inhibited mycelial growth in Bipolaris maydis, Mycosphaerella arachidicola, Rhizoctonia solani and Candida albicans with an IC50 of 50 μM, 10 μM, 80 μM, and 0.75 mM, respectively. However, there was no effect on Aspergillus fumigatus, Fusarium oxysporum and Valsa mali when tested up to 2 mM. The antifungal activity of the peptide was stable up to 100 °C and in the pH range 6–13, and unaffected by 10 mM Zn2+ and 10 mM Mg2+. Cordymin inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase with an IC50 of 55 μM. Cordymin displayed antiproliferative activity toward breast cancer cells (MCF-7) but there was no effect on colon cancer cells (HT-29). There was no mitogenic activity toward mouse spleen cells and no nitric oxide inducing activity toward mouse macrophages when tested up to 1 mM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Early online date23 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011

User-Defined Keywords

  • Antifungal
  • Isolation
  • Cordyceps


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