Inhibition of telomerase activity in U937 human monocytic leukemia cells by Compound K, a ginseng saponin metabolite

Kyoung Ah Kang, Kyoung Hwa Lee, Sungwook Chae, Jeong Ki Kim, Jung Yeon Seo, Yong Ho Ham, Kee Ho Lee, Bum Joon Kim, Hee Sun Kim, Dong Hyun Kim, Jin Won Hyun

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Telomerase activation is detected in most cancerous cells; hence, telomerase is a highly selective target for cancer therapy, which plays an important role in the apoptotic process. We have previously reported that the ginseng saponin metabolite, Compound K (20-O-D-glucopyranosyl-20(S)-protopanaxadiol, IH901), inhibits cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. The present study investigated the regulation of telomerase activity in Compound K treated U937 cells. Compound K treatment caused a reduction in telomerase activity and down-regulated the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene, resulting in the decreased expressions of its protein, and of the c-Myc and Sp1 proteins (transcription factors of hTERT). These results indicate that the anticancer activity of Compound K could be mediated by inhibition of the telomerase activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Compound K
  • Human telomerase reverse transcriptase
  • Telomerase

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