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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22284. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022284. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

The action mechanism of the Myc inhibitor termed Omomyc may give clues on how to target Myc for cancer therapy.

Author information

1
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche--Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari (CNR-IBPM), Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università Sapienza, Roma, Italia.

Abstract

Recent evidence points to Myc--a multifaceted bHLHZip transcription factor deregulated in the majority of human cancers--as a priority target for therapy. How to target Myc is less clear, given its involvement in a variety of key functions in healthy cells. Here we report on the action mechanism of the Myc interfering molecule termed Omomyc, which demonstrated astounding therapeutic efficacy in transgenic mouse cancer models in vivo. Omomyc action is different from the one that can be obtained by gene knockout or RNA interference, approaches designed to block all functions of a gene product. This molecule--instead--appears to cause an edge-specific perturbation that destroys some protein interactions of the Myc node and keeps others intact, with the result of reshaping the Myc transcriptome. Omomyc selectively targets Myc protein interactions: it binds c- and N-Myc, Max and Miz-1, but does not bind Mad or select HLH proteins. Specifically, it prevents Myc binding to promoter E-boxes and transactivation of target genes while retaining Miz-1 dependent binding to promoters and transrepression. This is accompanied by broad epigenetic changes such as decreased acetylation and increased methylation at H3 lysine 9. In the presence of Omomyc, the Myc interactome is channeled to repression and its activity appears to switch from a pro-oncogenic to a tumor suppressive one. Given the extraordinary therapeutic impact of Omomyc in animal models, these data suggest that successfully targeting Myc for cancer therapy might require a similar twofold action, in order to prevent Myc/Max binding to E-boxes and, at the same time, keep repressing genes that would be repressed by Myc.

PMID:
21811581
PMCID:
PMC3141027
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0022284
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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