Journal Article

Psoralen-modified clamp-forming antisense oligonucleotides reduce cellular c-Myc protein expression and B16-F0 proliferation

Delisha A. Stewart, Shelia D. Thomas, Charles A. Mayfield and Donald M. Miller

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 29, issue 19, pages 4052-4061
Published in print October 2001 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online October 2001 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI:

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The c-myc protooncogene plays an important role in the abnormal growth pattern of melanoma cells. In an attempt to inhibit c-Myc expression and the growth of an established murine melanoma cell line, we targeted homopurine sequences within the mouse myc mRNA with modified antisense oligonucleotides (AS ODNs). Psoralen was conjugated to the 5′-end of these clamp-forming oligonucleotides (clamp ODNs). Gel mobility shift analysis demonstrated a sequence-specific interaction between the active clamp ODNs (Myc-E2C and Myc-E3C) and the 1.4 kb c-myc mRNA, but no interaction with the control clamp ODN (SCR**). This association was further confirmed by thermal denaturation studies. In vitro translation assays demonstrated that both Myc-E2C and Myc-E3C at 5 µM inhibited c-Myc expression >99% after UV activation at 366 nm. Immunostaining of B16-F0 cells with a c-Myc monoclonal antibody revealed a significant reduction in c-Myc after clamp ODN treatment compared with the untreated or SCR** control-treated cells. This result was corroborated by western blot analysis. Utilizing the MTT assay to determine the effects of ODN-mediated c-Myc reduction on B16-F0 growth, we observed 60 and 64% reductions in growth after treatment with 5 µM Myc-E3C and Myc-E2C, respectively. We attribute the enhanced effectiveness of the clamp ODNs to psoralen activation. Our preliminary data suggest that inhibiting c-Myc overexpression results in a significant reduction in abnormal proliferation of B16-F0 melanoma cells and that the increased efficiency of clamp ODNs may provide an important advantage for their use in antisense therapies.

Journal Article.  7861 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Chemistry ; Biochemistry ; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Molecular and Cell Biology