Regulation of MYC expression and differential JQ1 sensitivity in cancer cells

Trent Fowler, Payel Ghatak, David H. Price, Ronald Conaway, Joan Conaway, Cheng Ming Chiang, James E. Bradner, Ali Shilatifard, Ananda L. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


High level MYC expression is associated with almost all human cancers. JQ1, a chemical compound that inhibits MYC expression is therapeutically effective in preclinical animal models in midline carcinoma, and Burkitt's lymphoma (BL). Here we show that JQ1 does not inhibit MYC expression to a similar extent in all tumor cells. The BL cells showed a ∼90% decrease in MYC transcription upon treatment with JQ1, however, no corresponding reduction was seen in several non-BL cells. Molecularly, these differences appear due to requirements of Brd4, the most active version of the Positive Transcription Elongation Factor B (P-TEFb) within the Super Elongation Complex (SEC), and transcription factors such as Gdown1, and MED26 and also other unknown cell specific factors. Our study demonstrates that the regulation of high levels of MYC expression in different cancer cells is driven by unique regulatory mechanisms and that such exclusive regulatory signatures in each cancer cells could be employed for targeted therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere87003
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 23 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of MYC expression and differential JQ1 sensitivity in cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this