Diosgenin Inhibits hTERT Gene Expression in the A549 Lung Cancer Cell Line

  • Published : 2013.11.30


Background: Diosgenin, a steroidal saponin from a therapeutic herb, fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graceum L.), has been recognized to have anticancer properties. Telomerase activity is not detected in typical healthy cells, while in cancer cell telomerase expression is reactivated, therefore providing a promising cancer therapeutic target. Materials and Methods: We studied the inhibitory effect of diosgenin on human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (hTERT) expression which is critical for telomerase activity. MTT- assays and qRT-PCR analysis were conducted to assess cytotoxicity and hTERT gene expression inhibition effects, respectively. Results: MTT results showed that $IC_{50}$ values for 24, 48 and 72h after treatment were 47, 44 and $43{\mu}M$, respectively. Culturing cells with diosgenin treatment caused down-regulation of hTERT expression. Discussion: These results show that diosgenin inhibits telomerase activity by down-regulation of hTERT gene expression in the A549 lung cancer cell line.


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