Pyk2/ERK 1/2 mediate Sp1- and c-Myc-dependent induction of telomerase activity by epidermal growth factor

Yira Bermudez, Hua Yang, Jin Cheng, Patricia A. Kruk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) promotes growth of normal ovarian surface as well as malignant ovarian epithelial cells. Further, EGF receptors are present on both normal and malignant ovarian surface epithelial cells and they are often constitutively activated in many cancers. Since telomerase confers cellular immortalization and survival through increased cellular proliferation, we sought to investigate the potential role of EGF to regulate telomerase activity in normal and ovarian cancer cells. While exogenous EGF failed to activate telomerase in normal ovarian surface epithelial cells, in cancer cells we herein report that: exogenous EGF activates telomerase activity and human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (hTERT) transcription; EGF-induced telomerase activity is ERK 1/2-dependent; EGF targets Sp1 and c-Myc binding sites within the core region of the hTERT promoter; and proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) is a key mediator of EGF-mediated telomerase activity. Together, these data show that dysregulation of EGF signaling may promote cancer cell survival through up-regulation of telomerase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGrowth Factors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ERK 1/2
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Pyk2
  • Sp1
  • Telomerase
  • c-Myc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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