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Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Mar 11;18(5):1153-7.

Post-transcriptional control of c-myc proto-oncogene expression by glucocorticoid hormones in human T lymphoblastic leukemic cells.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, University La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.


We have studied the regulation of the human c-myc proto-oncogene by glucocorticoid hormones in T lymphoblastic leukemic cells. A significant decrease (50%) of the steady state levels of c-myc mRNA was observed as early as 3 h after dexamethasone treatment of CEM-1.3 human lymphoma cells, reaching less than 5% values, with respect to untreated cells, 24 h after hormone administration. Nuclear run-on experiments showed no modifications of the transcriptional rate from the first exon. However, a slight decrease (15%) of the transcript elongation from the first exon/first intron boundary was observed in the dexamethasone-treated cells. Using actinomycin D to block gene transcription, we have observed a significant increase in the rate of c-myc RNA specific decay after dexamethasone treatment. Furthermore, cycloheximide was able to overcome completely the dexamethasone-induced down-regulation of the c-myc gene expression. Our data suggest that dexamethasone is able to inhibit human c-myc gene expression primarily at the post-transcriptional level, through the synthesis of hormone-induced regulatory protein(s) controlling c-myc transcript stability.

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