Activin Inhibits Telomerase activity in cancer

I. Katik, C. Mackenzie-Kludas, C. Nicholls, Fang-Xu Jiang, S. Zhou, H. Li, J-P. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Activin is a pleiotropic cytokine with broad tissue distributions. Recent studies demonstrate that activin-A inhibits cancer cell proliferation with unknown mechanisms. In this report, we demonstrate that recombinant activin-A induces telomerase inhibition in cancer cells. In breast and cervical cancer cells, activin-A resulted in telomerase activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Significant inhibition was observed at 10 ng/ml of activin-A, with a near complete inhibition at 80 ng/ml. Consistently, activin-A induced repression of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene, with the hTERT gene to be suppressed by 60–80% within 24 h. In addition, activin-A induced a concomitant increase in Smad3 signaling and decrease of the hTERT gene promoter activity in a concentration-dependent fashion. These data suggest that activin-A triggered telomerase inhibition by down-regulating hTERT gene expression is involved in activin-A-induced inhibition of cancer cell proliferation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-672
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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