There is increasing interest in identifying potent inhibitors of telomerase because the enzyme plays a crucial role in the development of cellular immortality and carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that 9-hydroxyellipticine (9-HE), an antitumor alkaloid, would inhibit telomerase activity because the drug has a unique mechanism of inhibiting phosphorylation of mutant p53 protein via inhibition of protein kinases, thereby restoring wild-type p53 function. This study was conducted to examine the effect of 9-HE on telomerase activity in human pancreatic cancer cells with differing p53 gene status. 9-HE treatment at relatively high concentrations resulted in rapid, complete inhibition of telomerase activity, irrespective of the p53 status. We conclude that 9-HE may exert a strong inhibitory effect on telomerase activity possibly through inhibition of protein kinases rather than through restoration of functional wild-type p53. Copyright (C) 1998 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes