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Cancer Lett. 2008 Sep 18;268(2):272-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 May 13.

Melatonin down-regulates hTERT expression induced by either natural estrogens (17beta-estradiol) or metalloestrogens (cadmium) in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Cardenal Herrera Oria s/n, Santander, Spain.


The goal was to evaluate whether melatonin (Mel) down-regulates hTERT expression induced by 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) or cadmium (Cd) in breast cancer cells. We found that: (a) Mel inhibits E(2) or Cd-induced hTERT transcription in hTERT-Luc transfected MCF-7 cells, (b) Mel significantly reduces E(2)- and Cd-mediated hTERT transactivation triggered by ERalpha in transfected HeLa cells, (c) Mel inhibits hTERT expression induced by E(2) or Cd in MCF-7 cells. Melatonin inhibition of telomerase activity supports a possible role in treatment of estrogen-dependent tumors or carcinogenesis by environmental or occupational exposure to xenoestrogens.

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