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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Mar;292(3):921-8.

c-Myc antisense limits rat liver regeneration and indicates role for c-Myc in regulating cytochrome P-450 3A activity.

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AVI BioPharma, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.


Expression of c-myc protein is associated with cell proliferation. The present study uses antisense oligomers to inhibit c-myc expression in the regenerating rat liver after 70% partial hepatectomy (PH). Antisense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (novel DNA analogs) were administered i.p. immediately after surgery to block expression of c-myc within the first 24 h after PH. A 20-mer PMO complimentary to the c-myc mRNA at the translation start site was an effective sequence (AVI-4126, 5'-ACGTTGAGGGGCATCGTCGC-3'). A single i.p. dose of 0.5 mg/kg AVI-4126 caused reduction of the regenerating liver c-myc protein in a sequence-specific and dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of c-myc expression resulted in reduction of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and arrested cells in the G(0)/G(1) phase of the cell cycle. The ratio of G(2):G(0) cell populations in the regenerating liver 24 h after PH dropped from 29.1 in saline vehicle-treated rats to 18.0 in rats treated with 2.5 mg/kg AVI-4126. The expression of cell cycle checkpoint protein p53 was inhibited with increasing doses of AVI-4126, but expression of p21(waf-1) was unaffected. The activity of cytochrome P-450 3A2 (CYP3A2) was evaluated by immunoblot analysis and erythromycin N-demethylation. AVI-4126 did not alter CYP3A activity in nonhepatectamized animals but showed a dose-dependent decrease in PH rats. We conclude that AVI-4126, antisense oligomer to c-myc, can reduce cell proliferation in the regenerating rat liver. Furthermore, inhibition of c-myc may indirectly influence the expression of CYP3A.

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