C-MYC modulation induces responsiveness to paclitaxel in adrenocortical cancer cell lines

Lidia Cerquetti, Camilla Sampaoli, Maria De Salvo, Barbara Bucci, Nicola Argese, Adele Chimento, Sebastiano Vottari, Rodolfo Marchese, Vincenzo Pezzi, Vincenzo Toscano, Antonio Stigliano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


C-MYC is overexpressed in many types of cancer linked to poor prognosis. We examined the c-Myc protein expression in adrenocortical cancer (ACC) cells to investigate the role of this protein in the neoplasm, its involvement in chemotherapy and finally to determine whether c-Myc could be considered a prognostic factor in patients with ACC. H295R and SW13 cell lines were treated with paclitaxel. c-Myc overexpressing cell clones were achieved by transfecting the H295R cell line with the pcDNA3-hMYC plasmid expressing the full-lengh C-MYC coding sequence. The SW13 cell line was transfected with siRNA oligonucleotides for C-MYC. Cell cycle analysis was evaluated by flow cytometry. c-Myc, cyclin B1 and pro caspase expression levels were evaluated by western blot analysis. We found that expression of c-Myc was highly expressed in the SW13 cells, whereas the protein was undetectable in the H295R cells. Different doses of paclitaxel were required in the two ACC cell line to induce a block in the G2 phase, characterized by increased cyclin B1 levels and to induce apoptosis by pro-caspase-3 activation. Interestingly, the silencing of C-MYC mRNA prevented paclitaxel induced apoptosis in SW13 cells, whereas in the H295R cells the overexpression of C-MYC rendered the cells more prone to growth inhibition after paclitaxel exposure. The present study directly demonstrates that C-MYC plays a central role in controlling proliferation in ACC cells after paclitaxel treatment and that c-Myc could be considered as a marker for predicting response to chemotherapeutic agents in ACC cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2240
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Adrenal cancer
  • C-MYC
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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