Characterization of an endogenous RNA transcript with homology to the antisense strand of the human c-myc gene

P. Celano, C. M. Berchtold, D. L. Kizer, A. Weeraratna, B. D. Nelkin, S. B. Baylin, R. A. Casero

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In addition to being regulated by a complex array of cis- and trans-acting factors, c-myc protooncogene expression may be modulated by antisense RNA transcripts. Our previous studies have determined that depletion of intracellular polyamines by α-difluoromethylornithine results in a marked decrease in the transcription of the human c-myc gene. Because of reports that antisense transcription occurs in the 5' and 3' regions of this gene, we used a genomic clone of the human c-myc gene to ascertain whether polyamine depletion might induce an antisense RNA transcript. These studies demonstrate that polyamine depletion of the human colon cancer cell line COLO 320 results in induction of an endogenous RNA transcript with high homology to the antisense strand of the second intervening sequence (PvuII-RsaI) of the c-myc gene. Furthermore, during such depletion, steady state levels of this transcript vary inversely to the sense direction c-myc RNA. RNase protection studies suggest that the antisense transcript may arise from a different gene locus than the c-myc gene. To further identify the origins of this RNA, a cDNA library was generated from size-selected RNA and screened with c-myc sequences. A 438-base pair cDNA was isolated with ≃85% homology, to a 285- base region in the second intron of the c-myc gene. Computer homology analysis further reveals that a 120-base region within this cDNA also has ≃85% homology to the antisense strands of a number of genes, including the growth-related genes, N-myc, p53, and thymidine kinase. These studies provide the initial characterization of an endogenous antisense RNA transcript which could influence cell growth by modulating the expression of c-myc and other genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15092-15096
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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