Lentinan a polysaccharide from medicinal mushroom that is Lentinus has been known to have anticancer properties. Telomerase activity is not observed in normal healthy cells, where as in cancerous cells telomerase expression is high. Telomerase represents a promising cancer therapeutic target. We investigated the inhibitory effect of lentinan on telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (hTERT) which is essential for telomerase activity. To assess the transcriptional effect, DLD -1 cancer cells were cultured in the presence of various concentrations of lentinan. TRAP assay, RT-PCR analysis were performed to find telomerase activity and hTERT gene expression respectively. Since c-MYC is known to regulate hTERT, expression of c-MYC was also determined. Culturing cells with lentinan resulted in down regulation of hTERT and c-myc expression. These results indicate that lentinan inhibits telomerase activity by down regulating hTERT expression via suppression of c-MYC in cancer cells.
Key words: Cancer cells-telomerase-inhibition-hTERT, C-MYC gene-lentinan.
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