NF-kappaB p65 modulates the telomerase reverse transcriptase in the HepG2 hepatoma cell line

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Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) regulates the expression of various genes, several genes involved in inflammation and tumorigenesis, including those of the liver. A role for NF-kappaB has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma. This transcription factor can regulate hTERT gene transcription. Expression of hTERT was found to be at high levels in hepatocellular carcinoma. However, positive effects of NF-kappaB on hTERT protein synthesis in HepG2 cells are unknown. In this study, we show that LPS (specific binding to TLR4 to activate NF-kappaB) was positive for NF-kappaB p65 mRNA expression and activation, and also up-regulated hTERT mRNA and protein expressions at 36 h in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, MG-132 (blocking the activity of 26S proteasome and thereby preventing nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB) significantly inhibited activation of NF-kappaB and mRNA expression. And also reduced the expression of hTERT at both mRNA and protein levels at 36 h in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, dexamethasone inhibited LPS-induced activation of NF-kappaB and expression of the hTERT in HepG2 cells. These findings suggest that NF-kappaB may modulate hTERT mRNA level, importantly, in protein level in HepG2 cells and dexamethasone inhibits LPS-induced hTERT via blocking NF-kappaB.

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