Potential Anti-Cancer Effect of Helenalin as a Natural Bioactive Compound on the Growth and Telomerase Gene Expression in Breast Cancer Cell Line

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Grash University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul Aydin University, Istanbul, Turkey.

4 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul Aydin University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Objective: The telomerase gene is overexpressed in the majority of tumors and cancers compared to normal and healthy cells, and on the other hand, this enzymatic protein is overactive, therefore, the telomerase enzyme is considered a primary target for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in most cancers. This has been hypothesized that Helenalin has anti-telomerase activity in a wide range of cancers and Tumor tissues. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of helenalin extract on telomerase gene expression in the T47D breast cancer cell line. Methods: We used the MTT assay to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of different concentrations of helenalin on the T47D breast cancer cell line at 24, 48, and 72 hours. Besides, the expression of the hTERT gene in T47D cell lines treated with 1.0 and 5.0 µM helenalin after 24, 48, and 72 h incubation times was investigated through real-time PCR. Results: According to the MTT assay, the inhibitory effect of helenalin on T47D cell proliferation is time and dose-dependent. Moreover, the results of Real-time PCR showed that exposure of T47D cell lines to helenalin led to a significant Decreasing in the expressional values of the hTERT gene as a time and dose-dependent procedure compared with the control group (P ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: These preliminary results demonstrated the cytotoxic potential of helenalin through inhibition of hTERT against T47D breast cancer cells.


Main Subjects

Volume 24, Issue 1
January 2023
Pages 133-140
  • Receive Date: 21 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 01 October 2022
  • Accept Date: 02 January 2023
  • First Publish Date: 02 January 2023