Background: Diosgenin, a steroidal saponin from a therapeutic herb, fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graceumL.), 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 transcriptasegene (hTERT) expression which is critical for telomerase activity. MTT- assays and qRT-PCR analysis wereconducted to assess cytotoxicity and hTERT gene expression inhibition effects, respectively.
Results: MTT resultsshowed that IC50 values for 24, 48 and 72h after treatment were 47, 44 and 43μM, respectively. Culturing cellswith diosgenin treatment caused down-regulation of hTERT expression. Discussion: These results show thatdiosgenin inhibits telomerase activity by down-regulation of hTERT gene expression in the A549 lung cancercell line